Lambda Legal Observes Transgender Day of Remembrance

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November 20, 2014

 In observance of National Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) and an annual day honoring of the transgender people lost this year due to suicide or targeted violence, Lambda Legal’s Transgender Rights Project Director M. Dru Levasseur issued the following statement:

Transgender Day of Remembrance is an annual event to remember and honor the lives of transgender people who committed suicide or have been killed simply for being who they truly are. Its growing observance is bittersweet - every year we raise more awareness of the rampant epidemic of anti-transgender violence, particularly against transgender women of color, but every year we see the statistics remain the same.  Not one more life should be taken.  The violence needs to stop.  Just since June, nine transgender women of color have been murdered. As we look back on the beautiful people we have lost this past year, we must not only work to change the hearts and minds of the public to achieve a better understanding and broader acceptance of transgender people, but we must also fight the racism, sexism, and transphobia that is rooted in these murders. Lambda Legal will continue to work in the courts, in local communities and with public policy efforts to help end the epidemic of violence against transgender people.

Transgender Day of Remembrance is an annual observance on November 20th that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. TDOR was started by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence that year and began an important memorial that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Read the blog “Ending the Epidemic: Working to End Violence Against Trans Women of Color” by Zahyr Lauren, Tyron Garner Memorial Fellow for African-American LGBT Civil Rights on our website here: http://www.lambdalegal.org/blog/20141111_trans-awareness

Lambda Legal published a transgender rights tool kit, viewable at: http://www.lambdalegal.org/publications/trans-toolkit