Monday, October 28, 2013

The Trans Day of Remembrance Is Alarmingly Becoming More Co-opted and Misrepresented. What Are Transsexual and Transgender Americans Going To Do About This?

There’s an alarming and increasingly growing pattern of the International Trans Day of Remembrance ceremony being co-opted, disrespectfully misrepresented and shamelessly misused as a fundraising tool. The last few years have reached a boiling point here in the U.S. as numerous noted transsexual and transgender advocates, including the founder of TdoR herself, Gwendolyn Ann Smith, have openly voiced their disdain for this appropriation, while national LGB non-profits have become less subtle in their consuming of this most sacred day to our Trans* coalition.

Those concerned have publically cited components of classism, whitewashing, racism, sexism, ill-willed politics, financial greed and blatant transphobia all contributing to the rising misappropriation of TDoR.

Some have further criticized those within our own coalition as distorting the annual event such as insensitivity towards transsexual women and trans-feminine victims by trans-masculine folks, privileged portions devaluing women of color’s lives, who are the largest demographic of those slain and trans non-profits collecting money on their websites in the name of our dead.

Lastly, some local and national artists, community centers and political non-profits have inappropriately associated TDoR with alcohol and parties. Our dead’s graves are not a dance floor nor are they an opportunity to raise money for gay and lesbian marriage.

For  the memory of our fallen and for the integrity of this annual vigil our Trans* coalition must put our differences aside and come together to preserve the authenticity of TDoR and not allow Non-Profit, Inc. to absorb, taint and dilute this important day.

We want to hear from those in the different transsexual, transgender, gender non-conforming and/or intersex communities (and allies) about what your experience with TDoR has been concerning the issue raised above or others. Please sound off in the comment section, or if you would like to email me privately


  1. Here in San Diego, it's never been a fundraiser. I dont think it's at all an appropriate time to use an event such as TDOR for a fundraiser.

  2. After what the LGB....t activists did at Toronto's Transpride march and they're active condemnations I don't want them really anywhere near this either. While I'm all for sexual freedoms and orientations I'm more for equality and Land G don't see it that way, they see it like "Animal farm." :(

  3. No - they have their day, and it has fallen into bacchanalia with all the alcohol present and outrageous behavior (Not to mention the drugs). I am remembering the brothers and sisters who have fallen, a lot of times, anonymously. This is an event where one must be able to bring to light those lives otherwise ignored, honor the lives we lead and draw strength from each other by our attendance.

    Co opting is like putting up a circus tent and pony rides one year, then next year having a full blown carnival. At the cemetery. LGB really need to back the fuck off, we are usually relegated to a small corner ourselves at their events, often enduring snarky mis gendering, privilege and hostility.

  4. I did notice last year when collecting for the TDOR Webcomic Project archive a few that were calling the day "Transgender Awareness Day". It seemed like there was a parallel tradition out there, where TDOR was only one day of a week's events. However on closer scrutiny it seemed to be only one or two groups doing that. Locally in Sydney there was a concert by an artist that also promoted it as "Trans Awareness Day". So far as I know there hasn't been the same this year.

  5. I agree with you Juliet Germanotta. We are not a part of the LGBT- They include us but we are the Outcast, Left Overs. They all get everything first and then we get it last!!!!!