This month, we observe Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Remembrance. It’s a time of reflection, celebration and education as we honor the transgender and gender nonconforming community, and look ahead to the work that still needs to be done.
Transgender Awareness Week
Transgender Awareness Week takes place each year between Nov. 13 and Nov. 19, in the week leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance. It aims to raise the visibility of transgender people by spotlighting their stories and experiences, and offers a larger platform to address the issues facing the transgender community, while celebrating achievements and contributions to society.
Transgender Day of Remembrance
Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed annually on Nov. 20. It was started in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender woman and advocate, as a vigil following the murder of Rita Hester, a transgender woman. Since then, it has evolved into a day of action observed in countries all over the world to honor the memory of the victims of anti-transgender violence.
“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”
– Gwendolyn Ann Smith (Excerpt from GLAAD website)
Transgender Day of Remembrance at the Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender Health
At the Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender Health, we are grateful to be available for patients who seek world-class care in a safe, respectful environment. We are humbled by the more than 2,500 patients who have placed their trust in us, and we work hard to improve access to health care through education, quality research and clinical care. Every day, but especially today, we hope you find us an ally and a champion for quality health care — which everyone deserves access to.
“Today is an important day — to not only remember and honor the people we have lost, but also to stand in solidarity with all of our transgender and gender-diverse family around the world. We continue to be humbled by this group’s brilliance, strength and resiliency — they show us all how to overcome adversity and how to advocate for meaningful change. Please join us in remembering the sacrifices our peers and neighbors have made, in supporting those who continue to suffer the harms of discrimination and bigotry, and in being part of creating change.”
-Devin O’Brien Coon, chief medical director, and Paula Neira, clinical program director, Johns Hopkins Center for Transgender Health
Learn more about what Johns Hopkins is doing to observe Transgender Day of Remembrance.
If you are a victim of sexual assault or other acts of violence, please consider reaching out for help. Your voice deserves to be heard. A list of resources can be found on the Center for Transgender Health website.
Whether you’re an ally, advocate or member of the community, this month is a wonderful opportunity for further education and awareness. Below are some resources to help you get started: