The Gender and Sexual Resource Center to host Transgender Day of Remembrance

By Mikah Walker

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance on Nov. 20 to honor the memory of the transgender people who lost their lives from anti-transgender violence in the past year. Each year, the campus remembers those lost, honors resilience in the Transgender community and gives space for those impacted. 

TDOR started in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender advocate, as a vigil to honor the memory of a transgender woman, Rita Hester, who was killed in 1998. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence after Hester’s death. Since then, it began an important tradition that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, according to GLAAD.

Visit the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, 105 Normal Road, to see the TDOR display window to learn about the many individuals remembered throughout the week of Nov. 18 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The biggest purpose it will serve is to increase awareness of the multiple hate crimes towards transgender people that have occurred.

The Trans Resilience Brunch will be on Nov. 20 from 9 a.m. to noon to hold space and center individuals who identify on the trans spectrum, which includes those who are gender non-conforming, non-binary or agender. Katy Jaekel, Ph.D. assistant professor, higher education will speak about the physical and emotional labor put on Trans people and their bodies. All are welcome to attend the brunch. The goal is to aim attention to the voices and experiences of the Trans community at NIU.

The Trans “Remembrance and Experience” debrief and discussion session on Nov. 21 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. is an opportunity for individuals who identify on the Trans spectrum including those who are gender non-conforming, non-binary, agender, etc. to share thoughts, feelings and experiences through a facilitated discussion with NIU counselors who have experience working Transgender clients.

TDOR will be held at the GSRC, Arndt House.