Sajina Jacob – Staff Writer
The Transgender Day of Remembrance is Friday, November 20. TDOR is an annual observance that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of violence.
The day was started in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transwoman who was killed a year prior, according to GLAAD, an LGBTQ+ media force. The day aims to raise public awareness of the hate crimes against transgender people, which is often overlooked by the current media, according to PFLAG, an LGBTQ+ organization.
On September 28, 2020, the death of a 29-year-old, Black transwoman named Mia Green shocked Philadelphia. She was found suffering from a gunshot wound and was transported to a hospital where she passed away.
“Her death is believed to be at least the 29th violent death of a transgender or gender non-conforming person this year in the U.S. We say “at least” because too often these deaths go unreported — or misreported” stated Madeline Roberts, news writer for the Human Rights Campaign.
This event was not covered by some major media sources, and when it was covered, Green had been misnamed by some of the media reports, according to HRC.
Most of the public’s education and awareness about the trans community has been based on more than a century’s worth of media which has misrepresented and mischaracterized who trans people are, according to GLAAD. In fact, 80% of Americans believe they have never met someone who is transgender which allows significant influence for these stereotypes.
Anti-transgender stigma is worsened by disrespectful treatment by those in the media, groups such as law enforcement and elected offices. Approximately three-quarters of all known victims were misgendered by these groups, according to HRC research.
Their reports have noticed that three-fourths of homicides against transgender people have involved a gun, and nearly eight in 10 homicides of Black trans women involve a gun.
“We must demand better from our elected officials and reject harmful anti-transgender legislation at the local, state and federal levels. It is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color. The intersections of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia and homophobia conspire to deprive them of necessities to live and thrive,” Roberts states. In celebration of Transgender Awareness Week, GLAAD is encouraging everyone to watch the documentary DISCLOSURE on Netflix. The feature explores the history of trans representation in TV and film through personal interviews with 30 transgender thought leaders, revealing how Hollywood simultaneously reflects and