Transgender Day of Remembrance
The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) honors those Trans people we have lost to murder and suicide in the past year. We read their names both to remember them and to welcome the spirits of those who had too little welcome in their lives. We are mindful that any list is a partial list, and to remember that we all know people—Trans or not—who have too little welcome.
We offer churches and temples a short list of names—just ten to twelve—to read in their services or prayer groups or study groups in the month of November, which is Transgender Awareness Month. The actual Day of Remembrance is Nov. 20, which marks the first time this vigil was held in 1999, which is just before Thanksgiving, which is a good time for this sort of welcoming of the spirit. It is important to us that churches and temples read names in their regular gatherings—that TDOR joins with you—and not to worry about the 20th itself.
We will have the list of names here in late October. There is just the name, date, location, and a short description. We have had ministers who read the names themselves and perhaps give a sermon on the subject, and others who allow congregants to each read a name in turn, in a sense letting them adopt that spirit for themselves. It takes only a few minutes, and there is no wrong way to do this.
We stress the welcoming spirit of TDOR, while also acknowledging the sorrow. One thing religion is good at is showing that we can hold both gratitude and sorrow at the same time.