This year is now officially the deadliest year on record for transgender and non-binary people. At least 45 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been killed this year; HRC Foundation uses “at least” because too often these stories go unreported or misreported. Previously, the highest number of fatal deaths of transgender or gender non-conforming people that HRC Foundation has tracked over a 12 month period was just last year in 2020, when at least 44 transgender or gender non-conforming people were killed.

The Nashville community is invited to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance on Tuesday, November 16 from 6-7pm at the Wightman Chapel at Scarritt Bennett Center, 1110 19th Avenue South, Nashville, TN  37212.

At least 45 transgender people have been killed in 2021

Since 1999, International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) has occurred annually on November 20 as a day to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of anti-transgender violence and transphobia.

TDOR brings attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community and our resilience throughout difficult and demeaning times. This special day also allows for the transgender leaders of Nashville to come together and share space with our communities and loved ones. The first TDOR was organized by transgender activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith, who gathered the community to honor the life of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who had been killed the previous year. 

The Nashville Transgender Day of Remembrance will feature words of wisdom and reflections, a reading, as well as a calling of peace for those we have lost in the past year. This year’s service for the Nashville community will take place on Tuesday, November 16 from 6-7pm at Scarritt Bennett Chapel, as well as streaming at https://youtu.be/Y2ngMIBiLZM expand=1]

The event is hosted by Vanderbilt’s Office for LGBTQI Life in collaboration with local trans activists and community members.  

Speakers include:

Dahron Johnson, LGBTQ Health Community Advisory Board  

Marisa Richmond, Metro Human Relations Commission

Members of the GLSEN TN SHINE Team

Shawn Reilly, Vanderbilt Program for LGBTQ Health and GLSEN TN

Ray Holloman, Tennessee Transgender Task Force 

Mina Shedd, Middle Tennessee Democratic Socialists of America

Simba Woodard, Black Lives Matter Nashville and Southern Word

Those who would like to attend in person are encourage to arrive a bit early, as space will be limited.  Masks will be *required* for all attendees. Unfortunately, due to COVID precautions, there will not be a reception following the ceremony this year. Although we regret not being able to host the reception after, we do hope that the opportunity for many to gather for an in-person service this year offers some comfort.

For more information, contact Linzie Treadway at linzie.treadway@vanderbilt.edu

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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