November is Transgender Awareness Month, a time for advocacy, education, awareness, and celebration of trans, nonbinary, and gender diverse people. One particularly noteworthy date is Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) on November 20. TDoR is an annual tradition to mourn and honor trans people who have been killed during the past 12 months. For 2020, the numbers are stark: approximately 350 trans and gender diverse people were murdered worldwide. Since the media often misgenders trans people and such killings are frequently underreported, this is an estimate and it’s likely that many more lives have been lost to transphobic violence. Research shows that discrimination, racial inequity, and lack of access to health care, housing, etc. disproportionately impacts transgender Black, Indigenous, and people of color (TBIPOC), especially black trans women and transfeminine people.
The origin of TDoR has local roots: it was started after Rita Hester, a black trans woman in Allston, was murdered in 1998. Now, more than two decades later, TDoR is observed internationally. Want to stay informed, raise awareness, and learn about ways to acknowledge and celebrate trans people? Check out these resources:
Trans Resistance MA, a grassroots group whose focus is on empowering TBIPOC.
The Boston Public Library’s curated list of memoirs by trans and nonbinary authors.
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), an advocacy group led by and for the transgender community in Massachusetts, has an ongoing calendar of events.
Looking Glass Counseling has made a donation to Trans Resistance MA as part of our monthly giving program.
Jen Brown is a licensed independent clinical social worker who has been in clinical practice since 2014. She received her MSW and Certificate in Urban Leadership in clinical social work from Simmons University School of Social Work. She has worked in outpatient mental health and integrative settings in community health centers, college mental health, and in affordable housing. Jen has experience working with depression and other mood disorders, anxiety, trauma/PTSD, substance use and addiction, ADHD, identity shifts/adjustment issues, chronic illness, body image concerns, and relationship issues.