8 Transgender Day of Remembrance Events Happening This Week

Honor the trans lives lost to hate-motivated violence.

This Saturday, November 20, is Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), an annual occasion to honor the trans lives lost to hate-motivated violence in the previous year. It began 22 years ago after the brutal murder of Rita Hester, a trans woman who was fatally stabbed in Massachusetts and misgendered in initial reports of her death. Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender activist, organized vigils honoring Hester in 1999, which led to the formalization of TDOR.

High rates of violence against trans people, particularly Black trans women, continue to this day. As Logo previously reported, at least 46 transgender or gender non-conforming Americans have died violently in 2021 alone, marking the deadliest year on record for trans people in the United States. 2021 has also seen an unprecedented uptick in anti-LGBTQ state-level legislation, including anti-trans sports and health-care bans.

It is more important than ever to show up for our trans siblings. Below, find eight TDOR vigils or actions you can attend this weekend categorized by city.

  1. New York City

    New Yorkers can attend a number of virtual or in-person TDOR events, including an online gathering on Thursday (November 18) and an evening vigil in Manhattan’s Little Island on TDOR. Both are organized by the city’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.

    Virtual gathering at 6pm local time on Thursday, November 18; TDOR vigil from 4–5pm local time on Saturday, November 20

    Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Bridges 4 Life, a local group that supports trans young adults exiting the foster-care system and sex workers, is also hosting a TDOR ceremony.

    5–9pm local time on Saturday, November 20

  2. Chicago

    Windy City-based, Black- and trans-led groups Brave Space Alliance and Life is Work are holding a TDOR memorial and community lunch to address violence against the trans community. The event will honor five trans Chicagoans who lost their lives this year.

    11am–3pm local time on Saturday, November 20

  3. West Hollywood

    Getty Images

    The city of West Hollywood is continuing its tradition of holding a TDOR ceremony that night. This year’s vigil will be hosted by transgender activist Sabel Samone-Loreca and livestreamed for those who cannot attend IRL.

    6pm local time on Saturday, November 20

  4. Philadelphia

    Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs is set to host a TDOR open mic as a safe space for community members to “acknowledge and honor the transgender individuals who have lost their lives to violence as well as celebrate the joy of the transgender experience.”

    4–6pm local time on Friday, November 19

    Philly Trans March is also planning a “silent march and community-guided scream” to commemorate TDOR. Attendees are being asked to wear black attire.

    1pm local time on Saturday, November 20

  5. Athens, Georgia

    Athens PRIDE and the Athens Queer Collective are planning an afternoon vigil for TDOR.

    2pm local time on Saturday, November 20

  6. Virtual

    We Been Here: Transgender Day of Remembrance, a virtual conversation and poetry reading featuring lauded transgender creatives, will include commentary on how these artists honor Black trans people in memoriam.

    7–8:30pm ET on Thursday, November 18

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella