Events Slated for Transgender Day of Remembrance

Members of Gays Against Guns hold pictures of slain transgender folks during an event commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance last year.
Donna Aceto

Community advocates and organizations are planning events commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, including both in-person events and virtual offerings due to the coronavirus pandemic. Events are also being held in the days leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The annual observance of Transgender Day of Remembrance comes during a year of profound loss for the community. At least 36 known transgender or gender non-conforming individuals have suffered violent deaths this year, which is the highest death toll since the Human Rights Campaign first started tracking deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming Americans in 2013. Black trans women have faced the brunt of the deadly violence facing the community.

On Wednesday, November 18, Amida Care will host a webinar called “Your Health, Your Journey” to observe Transgender Day of Remembrance. The Zoom event will be hosted by Coach B. and will feature a slate of panelists, including Zil Goldstein, associate medical director for TGNB health at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center; Dr. Asa Radix, senior director of research and education at Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, Lailani Muniz, the chief operating officer at New York Transgender Bodybuilding Foundation (NYTBF); Sabastian Roy, founder and owner of NYTBF; and Ceyenne Doroshow, founder and executive director of Gays and Lesbians Living in a Transgender Society (GLITS).

Register here or join by phone. Those who wish to join by phone can dial 929 436 2866. The password is 199422. Participants are required to RSVP by calling 1-800-556-0689 or emailing rsvp@amidacareny.org.

A separate virtual event on November 18 will be hosted by the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan, which is remembering transgender individuals who have lost their lives to deadly violence, marginalization, and prejudice. Transgender rights activist Kalki Subramaniam will deliver opening remarks and Andrea Jenkins, the first out trans Black woman elected to the Minneapolis City Council, will also be on hand. 

That event will also feature a reading of names of lives lost as well as performances from the Youth Pride Chorus. The event begins at 6 p.m. and folks can follow along on YouTube.

On Thursday, November 19, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation will host a film screening of “Born to Be,” a documentary about Dr. Jess Ting of Mount Sinai’s Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery. Stick around for a panel discussion about the film with Tari Hanneman, director of the HRC Foundation’s Health and Aging program; “Born to Be” director Tania Cypriano; Dr. Jess Ting, plastic surgeon at Mount Sinai; moderator Jude Dry, associate editor at IndieWire. and film subjects Jordan, a non-binary advocate, and Mahogany, a trans advocate.

The panel discussion begins at 8 p.m. Register at hrc.im/borntobetaw or follow along on HRC’s Facebook or YouTube pages.

The New York Transgender Advocacy Group is hosting a virtual summit via Zoom from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on November 19 and 20. There will be panel discussions focused on issues surrounding HIV/ AIDS and COVID-19 and NYTAG will honor 2020 recipients of the Marsha P. Johnson Community Leader Award. Panelists will include Princess Jenae Place founder and executive Jevon Martin, social justice advocate and researcher Shear Avery, and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. To register, visit linktr.ee/nytag. and select the option for the Transgender Day of Remembrance summit. Those who have questions can contact madeline@nytag.org.

On Friday, November 20, a half-dozen speakers who have been impacted by anti-trans violence will huddle for a panel discussion to observe Transgender Day of Remembrance. The event, dubbed “TDOR 2020: Remembrance and Resilience,” is hosted by the HRC Foundation and will feature Mariah Lopez, executive director of STARR; Kiara St. James, co-founder and executive director of New York Transgender Advocacy Group; Ty Williams, a friend of the late Tony McDade’s family; Clara “Momma Clara” Taylor, the mother of the late Felycya Harris; community advocate Kendall Stephens; and Tori Cooper, HRC Foundation’s director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative.

The event begins at 11 a.m. and will be streamed live on HRC’s Facebook page

On November 20, Transgender Day of Remembrance, Translatinx Network will host a virtual vigil at 6 p.m. that same evening. The event will pay tribute to trailblazers including the late Lorena Borjas of Queens as well as Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson. The event will also include a virtual journey through time examining the milestones of the transgender and gender non-conforming community since Stonewall. 

The organization’s event description does not contain a virtual link, but those who wish to learn more information are encouraged to call 646-882-2000.

There are also in-person options on Transgender Day of Remembrance. TransNewYork, a non-profit organization working to bring awareness to issues facing transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary communities, will lead an event at 6:30 p.m. at the Christopher Street Pier. 

Nancy Francoise Menusan, who TransNewYork describes as a trans ambassador and mechanic at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, will be mistress of ceremony, while TransNewYork’s new deputy executive director and chief of staff, Kelvin O. Howell, Jr., will be the keynote speaker. 

“Our organization and staff are fully aware that we are in the middle of a pandemic and have put the necessary safety and wellness protocols in place for the community at large,” Howell said in a written statement. “We will have unlimited Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and social distance ambassadors.”

Several others are expected to be on hand, including Jennifer Louise Lopez, a trans advocate and professional speaker; Jada Renee Downs, a trans advocate and member of the House of La’Beija; and more.

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