November 20th, 2010 we observe the 12th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. For events commemorating this solemn occasion in your city, visit http://www.transgenderdor.org/
What is TDOR all about?
Honour. This day, we honour the lives we've lost to transphobia. We reflect on the trans men and women who have been killed in the cold blood. They will not be forgotten. On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we take the time to reflect on lives shortened by transphobic violence.
There's something about gender identity that gets many people up in arms. The tautology "boys will be boys" says it all: we have this bizarre expectation that every creature born with a penis possesses an inherent predisposition to operate within a certain set of constructs. What we so often seem to forget is that these are social constructs. They are created and sustained by societies.
When we place strict limitations on gender expression, what do we serve but the status quo? At worst, we encourage a political climate in which violence against transgender people, including all people who live in some sense a gender non-normative life, is okay. What a harsh statement, right? But that's the world we're living in now.
Do you remember the last time you heard or read about violence against a trans person from a mainstream news source? I don't remember ever hearing about the murders of trans people on "the news." I know they take place only because I hear about the cases through transgender newsgroups. People die because of transphobia, and we don't even hear their stories.
That's what Transgender Day of Remembrance is all about: remembering the dead. Acknowledging atrocities have occurred and continue to occur, and heightening our awareness of violence against trans men and women.
If you'd like to honour the lives of slain trans people and you're thinking of attending a TDOR event in your area, here's a great place to look: http://www.transgenderdor.org/