Transgender Day of Remembrance: Speaking for Those Silenced
On November 20th, we remember transgender people, gender-variant individuals, and those perceived to be transgender murdered because of hate. This annual remembrance of those we have lost began in 1999. At events all over the world, the names of those slain were read. The list has only grown.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, 2020 and 2021 have been the deadliest years on record for violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people. Joni Madison, interim president of the Human Rights Campaign, says that the “rhetoric and stigma aimed by anti-equality political leaders and public figures at transgender and non-binary people have led to an unprecedented level of horrific violence against our transgender community. We must fight for change. We must dismantle this stigma. We must bring this epidemic of violence to an end.”
Laurie Lee Hall
“Today we remember those whose journeys were cut short due to anti-transgender violence and discrimination. We recognize that this is most tragically true amongst communities of color, subject to the combined oppressions of poverty and racism.
“But we embrace the principle that today is also the Trans Day of Resilience! And we seek to empower all trans lives who daily work not only to survive, but to thrive. We celebrate leaders in every walk of life who prove not only their inherent worth but the great value of their contributions to society as vibrant transgender people.”
“It isn’t easy being different. It isn’t pleasant being watched by judgmental eyes. To know people are whispering about who I was before I transitioned. I am Transgender, yes. But there is so much more to my identity. I am a musician, hiker, artist, brother, son, grandson, uncle, and Christian. And that’s just scratching the surface. I am a PERSON, just like anyone else. And there are so many people in this world who, like me, feel different. Unique. We have this in common….. We deserve to live, breathe, love, and experience life to the fullest. And I will continue to make my voice heard for all those who have been silenced.”
“The transgender people that die each year hit me in the heart with tremendous force. I see each one as a potential world-changing individual that had their path stolen from them. I cry for the opportunities that they leave unfulfilled. The songs left unsung. The art left unmade. The love left unrequited…Today is a day of remembering. It is a day full of heaviness. Remember those who we have lost. Remember those who we have not. Remember those who are struggling. If you are a friend of a transgender person, please check in with them regularly. Especially when you think they are strong. Especially when you think they are happy. They just might be neither and in that moment desperately need your warm smile.”
There are far too many voices that have been silenced. Far too many people are targeted merely for being who they are. For many left behind, there is a feeling of obligation to speak for those who can speak no more, to tell their stories, and to support one another.
Affirmation is committed to creating communities of safety, love, and hope and promoting understanding, acceptance, and self-determination of individuals of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions. We are dedicated to building a community that assures safety and where transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary persons can be authentic. Their voices are essential to any conversation about what we do as an organization and how we accomplish our mission and work to erase misconceptions about gender identity and expression.
Transgender Stories and Resources
Report on Violence Against Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People
Human Rights Campaign