Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) was an international day in support of the trans* community. Each November 20, we remember and mourn the people we have lost through acts of hate, intolerance, and violence, and to bring attention to the injustices and violence we face.
Last year, just before TDOR, I found myself overwhelmed by hearing the stories of violence against trans* folks. The discomfort I felt in hearing their stories made me feel real fear and anxiety about existing as a trans* person. As a safety precaution for my own well-being, I forced myself to tune out. I felt it was still important to observe TDOR, so I began reflecting on my experiences of and with trans* folks which greatly shaped my path. This year, I continue this way of observing TDOR as a way to honor those who inspire and influence me.
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Today is Trans* Day of Remembrance, a time to reflect on the violence perpetrated against transgender people. It’s also a good time to acknowledge that the majority of people affected by anti-transgender violence and murder are trans women of colour, trans women of colour sex workers, lower class trans women, non-binary trans* POC, and non-binary/trans* people from non-western countries. While violence can be experienced by any trans* persyn; racism, misogyny and classism, amongst other forms of discrimination, are massive factors in the ongoing abuse of trans* people. It’s important to recognize that it’s not just transphobia that kills trans* people, it’s the intersections of all these oppressions. As a privileged white trans* persyn living in Australia, I’m trying to think about how I can respectfully mourn the deaths of hundreds of trans* people each year, without co-opting this day to be about me and my experiences of transgender based violence.
- Casper Silver Swiftheart