Transgender Awareness Week 2022
November 13-19 is Transgender Awareness week where we attempt to raise awareness of the issues facing transgender folks leading up to the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR).
TDOR was founded by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence that year and began the world-wide observance that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Participate in TDOR by attending or organizing a vigil on November 20 to honor all those whose lives were lost to anti-transgender violence that year. Vigils are typically hosted by local transgender advocates or LGBTQ organizations, and held at community centers, parks, places of worship and other venues. The vigil often involves reading a list of the names of those who died that year.
It is so incredibly important that this week of awareness ends with the Day of Remembrance, because awareness and visibility without active protection of civil liberties, activism and action, leaves trans and non-binary folx more vulnerable. I am tired of saying how each year has seen an unprecedented number of deaths of trans and gender diverse folx.
Visibility and awareness are important first steps, as lack of awareness leaves much too much room for misunderstandings, bias and prejudice.
It is well past time to demand justice for trans and gender diverse people in life and not just honor them in death. It is time for those of us in positions of power and privilege to use those resources to up-lift others and fight for their rights and safety.