Transgender Day of Remembrance: 2022
By Max and Lucas.
November 20th, 2022 marks the 23rd annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). Started in 1999 by transgender (trans) advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith in San Francisco, TDOR was created to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a trans woman who was killed in 1998.
"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."
- Transgender Day of Remembrance founder Gwendolyn Ann Smith
TDOR also wraps up Transgender Awareness Week, which seeks to amplify trans voices and teach the history of the trans community.
People can participate in TDOR by attending a vigil honouring those whose lives were lost to anti-transgender violence and learning about the issues and violence facing the transgender community, especially trans women of colour.
Why is Transgender Day of Remembrance important?
It is crucial that we learn, remember and honour the history of trans people, not just in Canada but around the world. For those of us who are a part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, we would not be where we are without the trans pioneers who came before us.
It is also important to remember that while we’ve come a long way, trans people are still facing discrimination and violence on a daily basis. There is still work to be done but learning the history and speaking up in support of your trans friends, family and colleagues is an important part of that work.
Where can I learn more?
There are many fantastic resources where you can learn about the history of TDOR and what you can do as an ally.
GLAAD also has a resource page dedicated to Transgender Awareness Week, which explains what Transgender Awareness Week is. It includes articles about transgender youth, politics and guides for familiarizing yourself with transgender terms and how you can be a more effective ally.
For Canadian information, the Canadian AIDS Society has a province-by-province list of resources, support and education.
While Transgender Day of Remembrance comes around once a year, it’s important that we never forget the history of the trans people who came before us and keep speaking up for the trans people today.
Looking to learn more? Check out these great book lists put together by our librarians below.
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- Recommended Children's Titles
- Recommended Young Adult Titles
- Recommended Adult Titles
- Recommended Non-Fiction Titles
- Further Reading
Pink, Blue and You: Questions for Kids about Gender Stereotypes by Elise Gravel and Mykaell Blais
An accessible introduction to gender and gender stereotypes for young readers including an overview of sex versus gender, pronouns and more.
If You’re a Kid Like Gavin by Gavin Grimm and Kyle Lukoff
An autobiographical picture book about an out trans boy who stood up for his rights after his school discriminated against him.
When people refer to Nisha as a boy, her dysphoria monster gets bigger and bigger but a new friend helps her with ways to shrink the monster back down to size.
Riley Reynolds series by Jay Albee
Non-binary fourth grader Riley loves crafts, music, animals – a great new chapter book series with the message that being true to yourself is the most important thing you can do.
The Loudest Bark by Gail Marlene Schwartz and Lucie Gagnon
Simone’s new babysitter Chloe inspires them to express themselves fully and gives them the courage to speak openly and proudly about their gender identity to their parents.
Man O’ War by Cory McCarthy
An Iranian-American teen begins a journey of learning about themself and finding the language and look that fits their emerging identity. They bond with a genderfluid friend over a shared love of water and marine animals, and their romance helps River find their feet – and their new name.
A Million Quiet Revolutions by Robin Gow
Two trans small-town boys trip on the story of two trans soldiers who fell in love during the Revolutionary War. They take their names and dive into 2SLGBTQ+ stories in history, looking to reclaim space. Back matter to this novel in verse gives further readings on trans history for readers to explore.
Beating Heart Baby by Lio Min
Santi is missing his old home and the online friend who disappeared, but getting to know Suwa, a prickly music genius protecting himself past hurts and the spotlight he also craves. The two become entwined, and their story becomes about anime, music, love, vulnerability, and forgiveness.
Galaxy: The Prettiest Star by Jadzia Axelrod and Jess Taylor
This sci fi graphic novel tells the story of an alien princess who has accepted her uncomfortable disguise as a human boy– until she meets someone so confident, it makes her want to stop hiding herself, even if it means getting her enemies’ attention.
What’s The T? by Juno Dawson
Renowned YA author Juno Dawson shares both information and personal anecdotes in this frank and funny guide to “all things trans and/or non-binary” for teens.
Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist
This tightly written revenge and thriller novel as a non-binary lead who, after a very difficult life, ends up working for the family that tried to destroy them.
Little Blue Enyclopedia: (for Vivian) by Hazel Jane Plante
Novel of an unrequited love between a queer trans person who was in love with a straight trans man who has died. Filled with some amazing magic realism and fake pop culture - this book tugs at the heart strings in a good and bad way.
Manywhere by Morgan Thomas
The nine stories in this collection examine being queer in the southern states of America. Mixing with history and cultural traditions, these stories demonstrate the sacrifices that sometimes have to be made in order to be yourself.
Manhunt by Gretchen Felker-Martin
This dark dystopic novel examines what lengths non-binary people will go to in order to survive in a harsh landscape. This allegorical novel is a haunting exploration of a human's ability to be both healing and deadly.
Please Miss: A heartbreaking work of staggering penis by Grace A Lavery
This LOL memoir is both parts "Sunset Boulevard" and "Austin Powers" as our narrator walks us through their life and attempts to become who they are.
Transgender History: The Roots of Today’s Revolution by Susan Stryker
Covering American transgender history from the mid-twentieth century to today, Transgender History takes a chronological approach to the subject of transgender history, with each chapter covering major movements, writings, and events.
A Queer History of the United States for Young People by Michael Bronski
Through engrossing narratives, letters, drawings, poems, and more, the book encourages young readers, of all identities, to feel pride in the accomplishments of the LGBTQ people who came before them and to use history as a guide to the future.
Before We Were Trans: A New History of Gender by Kit Heyam
An exploration of the diversity of gender and trans experiences across space and time, borders and cultures.
For more information, check out a few resources in our catalogue:
- A carefully-curated list for parents of gender-diverse and gender-nonconforming children.
- Some staff-picked books by gender diverse authors.
- A 2022 post on International Transgender Day of Visibility featuring trans writers, characters and subjects for all ages.
With special thanks to Cameron, Scott and Alice for the book recommendations.