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November 20, 2020
Friday 20 November is the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). It is a collective day of commemoration on which we memorialize the transgender (trans) people who have been murdered and lost to anti-trans violence and bigotry. Trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith began TDoR to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a Black trans woman who was murdered in 1998 and whose murder remains unsolved today. Anti-trans violence continues to disproportionately affect trans Black, Indigenous, and trans women/femmes of colour, many of whom are also sex workers.Our analysis and advocacy for trans rights must continue to deepen its intersectional approach, given that race, class, and histories of colonialism are deeply entrenched in the ways that trans women experience oppression.
The focus of the day is to honour the memories of those violently taken. It is also a prominent reminder of the broader sys(and cis)temic failures to protect, uplift, and advance trans lives and rights both locally and around the world; every life lost and every act of violence gone unsolved/ unresolved are reminders of this. Indeed, we have seen a staggering increase in public “debate” about transgender women and the legitimacy of their womanhood. This discourse, if we can call it that, only seeks to legitimize the violence, harm, and exclusion that trans people, and trans women specifically, experience. There is no public good created from the subjugation of trans rights and trans liberation.
Vancouver Trans Day of Remembrance will be hosting a march and memorial this Friday from 6:30pm to 9:00pm starting at Jim Deva Plaza. There will also be a live stream. If you plan to attend, please review Provincial health orders and suggestions to stay safe. More details are available on their website.
Executive Director, Out On Screen