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Transgender Day of Remembrance

Article Gilbert Gammad, Pride Center Youth Program Coordinator

These are the names of the 23 trans people whose murders have been reported, here in the United States in 2017 alone. This does not include our trans siblings who were not able to live their lives outside of the closet. This does not include our trans siblings who were misgendered and misnamed in their passing. This does not include our trans siblings whose deaths go unreported.

Originally set aside to honor the life of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was murdered on November 28, 1998, Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on November 20 allows members of the transgender and gender nonconforming communities, as well as allies, to come together in order to remember and celebrate the lives of those who have been taken from us due to anti-transgender violence.

In the United States, the lack of acceptance and recognition of transgender people shows the importance of this day.

According to a 2015 national survey, “Addressing Anti-Transgender Violence,” by the Human Rights Campaign and the Trans People of Color Coalition, transgender people, and particularly transgender people of color, face higher rates of harassment and discrimination than the general population.

Trans Life Line, a suicide hotline run by and for transgender people, reports that transgender people are at least 22 times more likely than non-transgender people to attempt suicide. These statistics are a reminder of the importance of committing ourselves to supporting the well-being, self determination and safety of the transgender and gender nonconforming community.

Anti-transgender violence takes many forms. It looks like murder, physical or verbal harassment, job or housing discrimination and unsafe educational spaces. But it also takes the form of misgendering people, laughing at someone’s pronoun usage, not offering gender inclusive restrooms, stopping someone you perceive as transgender from using the facilities they choose, becoming aggressive after finding out that someone you were romantically or sexually pursuing is trans, telling little boys not to wear makeup or try on dresses and a list of many other forms of interpersonal violence that contribute and lead to the discrimination and death of transgender and gender nonconforming people in our society. For this reason, TDOR serves not only as a moment of memorialization, but of solidarity and commitment to #ProtectTransLives.

In order to inspire movement towards change, the San Mateo County Pride Center is happy to announce a number of events centered around transgender rights.

Transgender Day of Remembrance Memorial/Vigil - November 16

For Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Pride Center, the San Mateo County Pride Initiative, the Office of Diversity and Equity and the LGBTQ Commission will be hosting a memorial/vigil for the lives we lost in the last year. The program will be hosted at the Pride Center on Thursday, November 16, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with a number of county officials and transgender community members speaking on the importance of protecting and fighting for transgender liberation, as well as a community altar creation and candlelight procession to honor and memorialize our transgender and gender nonconforming siblings.

What’s The T? - November 20

On November 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pride Center, in collaboration with Peninsula Conflict and Resolution Center and the Pride Initiative, we will be holding a dialogue series to discuss transgender experiences and issues right here in the county. This event will be a starting point for local action around the issues that our transgender and gender nonconforming neighbors are facing.

Pride Center Support 

If you are seeking or looking for support from fellow transgender and gender nonconforming community members, the Pride Center offers two peer support spaces:

  • Trans Peer Group, every second and fourth Monday of the month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. (ages 18+)
  • Trans-Femme Drop-In Therapy and Support Group, every Wednesday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. (ages 18+)

If you are looking for spaces that are open to all LGBTQ+ community members, please check out the young adult and youth LGBTQ+ support groups. Please contact gilbert.gammad@sanmateopride.org for more information.

If you are in need of different kinds of spaces, please feel free to reach out to the Pride Center so that we can support you in the creation of those spaces for our transgender and gender nonconforming community: info@sanmateopride.org; 650-591-0133, 1021 S. El Camino Real, San Mateo, CA 94402.

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