Content warning: mention of violence and homicide
November is Transgender Awareness Month, a time for advocacy, education and awareness and celebration of trans, nonbinary, and gender expansive people all which culminates in Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) on November 20. TDoR is an annual tradition to commemorate transgender people who have been killed during the past year. For 2021, the numbers are stark: nearly 400 trans and gender expansive people have died by violence over the past 12 months. 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.
TDoR has local roots: it was started after Rita Hester, a black trans woman in Allston, MA was murdered in 1998. Now, over 2 decades later, TDoR is observed internationally. If you’re interested in acknowledging and honoring TDoR and Transgender Awareness Month as an ally or as a member of the trans and gender expansive community, here are some ways you can learn, donate, raise awareness and get involved:
Earlier this year, nationally recognized trans activist and ballroom icon Jahaira DeAlto was killed in her home in Dorchester, MA. She has been deeply mourned by local community groups. You can learn more about her life and impact here and here through WBUR’s coverage of her death.
Stay in the loop with Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), an advocacy group led by and for transgender and gender expansive people in Massachusetts. They have an ongoing calendar of events for Trans Awareness Month.
Cape Cod’s TDoR event is being held virtually via Zoom on Saturday, Nov. 20 from 6:30-8pm; learn more and register here.
Remembering Our Dead is a comprehensive and sobering overview of trans people known to have been killed during the past year, worldwide.
Jen Brown, LICSW 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.
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