Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.
These are guiding words for the mission of Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). Next week on Tuesday, November 20, Out & Equal and the greater community of LGBT equality advocates and allies will observe the 14th Annual International TDoR. This day is set aside to memorialize those who have been killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder in 1998 lead to the Remembering Our Dead web project as well as a San Francisco candlelight vigil. Since then, the event has grown to encompass memorials in dozens of cities around the world.
ERGs, student groups, transgender advocates, and faith and community organizations often plan candlelight vigils to recognize and honor the loss of each life due to transphobia. However, TDoR events take many forms, including marches, roundtable discussions, performance actions, and art/photography displays. Most importantly, those who plan TDoR events find a way to provide visibility to an often overlooked issue of great concern to the LGBT community. When law enforcement and media do not highlight these murders as hate crimes against the transgender community, we as individuals of and allies to the LGBT community must step forward to bring attention to prejudice and inequality resulting in such horrendous loss of life, whether or not that loss was officially or sufficiently documented. Find the location of a 2012 memorial event near you. Or, to plan a memorial—whether office-wide or city-wide—please refer to these Tips for Hosting a Successful Day of Remembrance Event put together by Gwen Ann Smith, the original TDoR organizer.
If you are free this afternoon, please join our special Transgender Day of Remembrance Town Call at 1 pm Mountain | 2 pm Central | 3 pm Eastern. As we remember, this Town Call will also address the impact of the recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) decision in the Macy Case. This case ruled that gender identity bias was protected in the job application process as gender under Title VII. The federal government is already operating under these guidelines and these may extend to the private sector. This decision has far reaching implications for every LGBT employee in the United States. The Transgender Law Center will provide background on the case and what changes may come as a result of this case. Please register now!
Out & Equal is ever grateful for the support of the Transgender Advisory Committee and the leadership of Chair Lori Fox. They have made invaluable contributions to the advancement of complete workplace inclusiveness and equality.