Commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance #TDoR

By Rachel Luna

When I write for this blog, I write from various perspectives: as a student affairs professional, an educator, a tech nerd, etc.  I also write from my perspective as a cisgender woman.  As someone who identifies in this way, I reap multiple privileges, many of which represent safety.  For the most part, I can use the restrooms where I feel most comfortable, people will call me by my preferred name, and I do not have to justify my existence or humanity based on my gender identity.  Unfortunately, for many members of the global transgender community, safety in these ways and others is inadequate or nonexistent.

This Thursday is the 16th annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR).  Held each year on November 20, this day serves to memorialize people who have been killed due to transgender hate or bias.  Events often include a vigil and reading aloud the names of victims who have been killed in the past year (this year’s list is a staggering 11 pages long so far).

A 2013 National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs report shows increases in reports of physical hate violence in 2013 compared to the previous year, with transgender women and people of color among those facing the highest risk of homicide. Data from a national survey on transgender discrimination indicate that 1 in 4 members of the trans* community have experienced violence.  College campuses and higher education are not immune from these social realities as 35% of respondents reported experiencing harassment and bullying in higher education settings.

One way to honor the victims of transphobia is by observing this day and working toward making our campuses and communities safer and more inclusive for all people.  So on Thursday, I invite you to acknowledge and honor the victims of trans* hate, perhaps in one of these ways:

  • Attend a TDoR event – Find an event in your area (check this list of events or this one).
  • Host a vigil and/or dialogue in your community- Create space to host an event in your office, on your campus, or in your neighborhood to honor the victims and reflect on this day.
  • Educate yourself – Enhance your awareness and build your knowledge about the trans* community and issues facing this population.  Read articles (like this one) or visit your campus or community LGBT center to learn more.
  • Honor intersecting identities – I currently work at a health sciences institution, so in addition to memorializing the victims of the past year, I’m screening and discussing a short film regarding transgender cultural competence for medical providers.  You can explore available resources for a variety of intersecting identities, such as the Trans People of Color Coalition and Trans*Athlete.

Resources

Commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance #TDoR

Linkage Love for Transgender Remembrance

by Jess Faulk

Transgender Remembrance Day

TDORTwelve years ago Transgender Day of Remembrance was created to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred.  On November 20, 2011 we will pause to honor those transgender persons who were forever lost to the world.  If you don’t have a transgender remembrance memorial or program on campus or in your community, consider sending out information and links to shed light on this very serious topic.

From Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition:

  • 13%-56% of transgender people had been fired
  • 13%-47% had been denied employment
  • 22%-31% had been harassed, either verbally or physically, in the workplace

From Youth Pride, Inc.:

  • 33.2% of transgender youth have attempted suicide. (2006)
  • 55% of transgender youth report being physically attacked. (GLSEN, 2003)
  • 74% of transgender youth reported being sexually harassed at school, and 90% of transgender youth reported feeling unsafe at school because of their gender expression. (GLSEN, 2001)
  • In a survey of 403 transgender people, 78% reported having been verbally harassed and 48% reported having been victims of assault, including assault with a weapon, sexual assault or rape. (1997)

To find out about events happening around the world, visit the International Transgender Day of Remembrance website, http://www.transgenderdor.org/.

It Gets BetterIt Gets Better
@ItGetsBetter, #ItGetsBetter
The It Gets Better project was created in September 2010 to share with LGBT youth a positive future.  The hope is that these videos which allow LGBT people to share their own stories of survival and success will help a younger generation get through difficult times and feel supported through their teen years.

I recommend viewing the It Gets Better page focused specifically on the experiences of Transgender individuals for National Trans Remembrance Day

Show your Campus Pride!Campus-Pride-
http://www.campuspride.org/
@campuspride

Campus Pride is an organization for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for LGBT students. The organization is a volunteer-driven network “for” and “by” student leaders. Campus Pride hosts a number of resources available to college students, and provides a place for LGBT teens to look for queer-friendly colleges through http://www.campusclimateindex.org/  Consider getting your college listed on the index!

Listen to a recent interview with Campus Pride executive director Shane Windmeyer (@shanewindmeyer) and Eric Stoller (@ericstoller) on Student Affairs Live

Linkage Love for Transgender Remembrance