DMT Beauty Transformation: How I’m Honoring Transgender Day Of Remembrance
featured Khareem Sudlow

How I’m Honoring Transgender Day Of Remembrance

November 20, 2020BruceDayne

#DMTBeautySpot #beauty

Today is the Transgender Day Of Remembrance (TDOR), a time meant to memorialize all transgender and gender non-conforming people who have been murdered in acts of anti-trans violence.

In 2020, at least 37 transgender and gender non-conforming people in the U.S. were violently killed, reports the Human Rights Campaign. Most of the victims were Black or Latinx. Globally, 350 people were killed, according to Transrespect Versus Transphobia Worldwide. And the actual figures may be higher, since these killings often go unreported or get misreported.

Anti-transgender bias is fatal. But that doesn’t mean transgender people have to live in fear or in silence. As Danielle Ehsanipour, the director of the Lifeline at The Trevor Project, who uses they/them pronouns, says, “I try to remind myself and my community that at times when systems, structures, and cisgender people hurt trans people or hold us back, I can be an antidote. We can take care of one another, love one another, validate one another at times when the rest of the world can't,” they say.

On TDOR, we all remember the people who lost their lives too soon. Allies may also dedicate time to advocating for the transgender community, whether by amplifying LGBTQ voices on social media or donating to a worthy cause. Many trans and non-binary people also spend the day connecting with their community and participating in self-care. Swipe through to learn how eight trans and non-binary people are choosing to commemorate this important day, and what advice they wish they'd heard as a young person.


How I'm Observing TDOR

"I check in with my trans friends first. How are we doing? How are we holding up? My friends and I like to gather together. Maybe this year will be standing in the snow with masks on or sharing our pain, laughter, and resilience over Zoom."

What I Want Young Trans & Non-Binary People To Know

"You deserve to advocate for your name and pronouns, but it is also valid if you don't have the energy, resources, or can't be out. You are still valid. Journaling can be a safe space to remind yourself that you matter and to dream."

— Jona, who goes by they/them pronouns, a supervisor at The Trevor Project

How I'm Observing TDOR

"I’m part of the Intuit Pride Network, which is holding a virtual candlelight vigil hosted by the Trans Advisory Board. We will be honoring the transgender individuals who have lost their lives in the United States this year due to anti-transgender violence by reading their names aloud, and will also honor the over 300 people worldwide with a moment of silence. Personally, given the pandemic, I will spend a quiet evening at home. I am lucky to have a loving and supportive family that I can lean on during difficult times."

What I Want Young Trans & Non-Binary People To Know

"Find something each day that brings you joy and do that thing (TikTok, Tumblr, cat videos, whatever puts a smile on your face). Don’t give up. Know that you matter, that you belong in this world, and that there is room for all of us. Get through this part, and the world will open up to you. You will find your community and you will find those who will love you unconditionally."

— Tanner (he/him), a customer experience leader at Intuit

How I'm Observing TDOR

"I commemorate 2020 Trans Day Of Remembrance by focusing on trans folks who are still here, celebrating the progress we have made and the long way we still need to go in order to protect our trans siblings from violence and discrimination. I will attend a small group for trans folks only discussing trauma and healing. I will watch the movie Tangerine, which is my favorite trans movie."

What I Want Young Trans & Non-Binary People To Know

"Trans people have always survived because we are survivors and we are resilient. There are always people to talk to and community to support you. You just need to reach out."

Albus (they/them), a tarot reader

How I'm Observing TDOR

"I commemorate Trans Day of Remembrance through education and spreading awareness. Some of the biggest obstacles Transgender people face are rooted in the lack of knowledge within the greater community."

What I Want Young Trans & Non-Binary People To Know

"Respect your wants and needs. I've recently learned to listen to my thoughts, feelings, and body, understand what they're telling me, and respect those needs. You deserve respect from everyone, including yourself."

— Charli (he/him/his); a volunteer recruiter at The Trevor Project

How I'm Observing TDOR

"I have been participating in TDOR memorials and commemorations since it was conceived in the early 2000s. This includes walking in vigils, attending and speaking at events, and also sometimes just taking private time to remember and think of the trans and nonbinary people, as well as the others I have lost in my life."

What I Want Young Trans & Non-Binary People To Know

"For me it has been important to remain connected to a community of healthy and amazing LGBTQ people that I can reach out to — people that I want to listen to and also want to listen to me."

— Carrie (she/her), the chief community officer at The Trevor Project

How I'm Observing TDOR

This year I will be posting on social media and likely attending the LGBT Center of Central PA’s annual TDOR Healing Space, which, due to the pandemic will be virtual this year. With 2020 seeing an significant increase of violence against the transgender community and being the deadliest year for transgender people, especially trans women of color, it is more necessary than ever to honor their lives and bring light to hate and violence directed at our community. We must find community for ourselves.

— Jessi (she/her/hers), a poet and activist

How I'm Observing TDOR

"I have identified as trans-male for the last 7 years of my life and hopefully the next 100 years! This year, because of the COVID-19 situation, a group of pro-LGBT friends (three more of which are trans) and I are having a group movie night over Zoom with the main focus on Transgender-aligned films. We didn’t let a corrupt worldly mindset stop us from being who we deserve to be, so we are certainly not going to let an illness prevent from us celebrating what we have sacrificed and how far we have come."

What I Want Young Trans & Non-Binary People To Know

"There is support for you. One [resource] in particular — The GALAP — will write you a letter of support without gatekeeping you. I had wished there was something like this for me when I was a bit younger." [Editor's note: The GALAP currently encourages its supporters to work only with adults. More resources can be found at the National Center For Transgender Equality.]

— Andrew (he/him), an entrepreneur

How I'm Observing TDOR

"I typically focus on two aspects: community and self-care. With the community aspect, I try to gather with other Transfolks and hold space for a moment together to recognize who is with us and who no longer is. It is important for transfolks to share community, especially when it comes to holding vigil for our own people. Then personally, I always try to do something I enjoy, like take a long bath, try making a new recipe, or go on a long walk."

What I Want Young Trans & Non-Binary People To Know

"It isn't any one person's job to educate others. As a transperson, it can feel like it is my responsibility to teach all people what it means to be trans, to correct every person on my pronouns, and to be responsible for facilitating an environment of understanding. Sometimes, it is okay to let it go and let someone else do that work, so you can focus on keeping yourself happy and healthy."

Keygan (they/them), a senior advocacy associate at The Trevor Project

How I'm Observing TDOR

"I am celebrating TDOR by being my true, authentic self. Today, as every day, I will strive to make a positive impact in the world, so that everyone can be known for Who they are, not What they are."

What I Want Young Trans & Non-Binary People To Know

"To all the young people out there, know that you are perfect just the way you are. We all are."

Hunter (they/them), a champion with GenderCool

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Mirel Zaman, Khareem Sudlow

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