Trans Day of Remembrance 2021

Trans Day of Remembrance 2021

It is November 20th which means that Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR for short) is here once again. This day was created to memorialize those we have lost in the community, particularly trans siblings lost at the hands of violence and transphobia. TDOR can be a really solemn day, but in addition to paying our respects we use this as a day of celebration of our beautiful trans community as well. The entire LGBTQIA+ community would do well to remember this day, and every day, that we all owe so much of who we are and who we are allowed to be to the Black trans women and trans women of color who paved the way for much of the queer movement. It is on their shoulders that we stand, in their footsteps we walk, and in their memories we continue.

image courtesy of McGill Reporter

This post should be prefaced with the fact that this topic of violence and death within the trans community can be a gruesome one and can be incredibly triggering — as you read on there will be statistics highlighted and names mentioned of those we have lost, please read on with care for yourself in mind.


Each year I sit down to write this blog post to reflect on TDOR, share some perspective, data and statistics, and hopefully some reassurance as well as respect. It is with a heavy heart I find that this year is even deadlier than last year. 2021 has been the deadliest year on record for transgender and GNC folks (according to data gathered by TMM, Trans Murder Monitoring) — with the deaths of 375 trans and gender-diverse people, 7% more than in the 2020 TMM update.


Additional data from TMM shows:

  • Cases from Greece, Kazakhstan, and Malawi were reported for the first time;

  • 96% of those murdered globally were trans women or transfeminine people;

  • 58% of murdered trans people whose occupation is known were sex workers;

  • Murders of trans people in the United States have doubled from last year; people of colour make up 89% of the 53 trans people murdered

  • 43% of the trans people murdered in Europe were migrants

  • 70% of all the murders registered happened in Central and South America — 33% in Brazil

  • 36% of the murders took place on the street and 24% in their own residence;

  • The average age of those murdered is 30 years old; the youngest being 13 years old and the oldest 68 years old

Image Courtesy of Trans Respect

I share these so that there is some insight into what these crimes look like worldwide — a disproportionate amount of violence perpetuated against trans feminine folks year after year. This is important to note because those communities need our support and allyship and care more than ever — armed with knowledge, compassion, and a vow that we have had enough we need to find a way to make our years pass with the hope that the next might finally be less violent then the previous. What a low bar that we just hope for less violence, of course, a world where there is no crime or violence against trans folks would be the aim, but how do we get there?


Last year in my blog post I wrote “Numbers like these are disproportionate for the size of the trans population in relation to the number of cis people who cohabitate the world with us” — but we see this within many marginalized communities, how they are adversely affected by crime and violence, poverty and discrimination. The systems were not built by us or for us, but we can hopefully break the system and change it for good. I continued, “There is so much to be dismantled, this violence is rooted in transphobia (and homophobia), yes, but it is greatly perpetuated by systemic racism, misogyny (transmisogyny specifically), amongst other systems of oppression very much alive and well in our society today. The folks who live at the intersection of homophobia, tranpshobia, and racism are those most greatly at risk to experience hate crimes — it is reported that 1 in 4 trans people will experience a hate crime in their lifetime.” I repeat that again this year because I think it is important to highlight that there are systems in place contributing to the violence that makes TDOR necessary.


Change starts with so much, which in all honesty sounds like a non-answer but it’s true. There’s so much more needed than just “awareness” as we come to the end of Trans Awareness Week — the world seems pretty aware of trans folks as of 2021, and what does that really mean? What could accompany that awareness to add to the quality of life of our trans community? The first thing that comes to mind is of course knowledge — awareness without knowledge breeds ignorance and only perpetuates systems at work — it can even create more glaring disparities as vulnerable communities feel exposed. That exposure can be helped even more by an increase in resources, support for those most at the intersection of this issue. (It should be noted that 2021 saw the most anti-trans legislation be proposed and passed into law across the country, notably in our home state of Texas. This is also detrimental to trans folks and perpetuates violence and discrimination that contributes to the need for this day). And the most important thing that comes to mind to help create sustainable change is consistency. A commitment to support, outreach, assistance, resources, education, and so much more every day of the year — not just during pride, not just during Trans Awareness Week, not just on TDOR, but woven into the moments of individual lives everywhere, all the time.

In 2021 there were 47+ trans people in the US reported to have lost their lives to transphobic violence — their names are listed below. Let us take a moment to honor them and remember them with love and reverence while vowing to try to make a better world for the transgender community moving forward.

  • Tyianna Alexander

  • Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín

  • Bianca “Muffin” Bankz

  • Dominique Jackson

  • Fifty Bandz

  • Alexus Braxton

  • Chyna Carrillo

  • Jeffrey “JJ” Bright

  • Jasmine Cannady

  • Jenna Franks

  • Diamond Kyree Sanders

  • Rayanna Pardo

  • Jaida Peterson

  • Dominique Lucious

  • Remy Fennell

  • Tiara Banks

  • Natalia Smut

  • Iris Santos

  • Tiffany Thomas

  • Keri Washington

  • Jahaira DeAlto

  • Whispering Wind Bear Spirit

  • Sophie Vásquez

  • Danika “Danny” Henson

  • Serenity Hollis

  • Oliver “Ollie” Taylor

  • Thomas Hardin

  • Poe Black

  • EJ Boykin

  • Taya Ashton

  • Shai Vanderpump

  • Tierramarie Lewis

  • Miss CoCo

  • Pooh Johnson

  • Disaya Monaee

  • Briana Hamilton

  • Kiér Laprí Kartier

  • Mel Groves

  • Royal Poetical Starz

  • Zoella “Zoey” Rose Martinez

  • Jo Acker

  • Jessi Hart

  • Rikkey Outumuro

  • Marquiisha Lawrence

  • Jenny De Leon

The only thing that can triumph over trans trauma and trans hurt is trans love and trans joy. This is why this year we released our trans joy design at FLAVNT to shine a light on the importance of that idea and encourage trans folks to embrace their joy. Our narratives and lives often revolve around so much negativity, violence, and transphobia — this is the transness that most people in 2021 are aware of, trans folks included. So even as we sit and remember those we have lost, pay our respects, and plan our next moves to fight the good fight — let us not forget that we are also full of so much joy and potential and hope.


To be trans is to be resilient, and not in the “you’re so brave” way that people often say and it feels condescending — but in the “fuck the world and all it told you that you couldn’t be and then you went and did it anyway you beautiful, powerful, perfectly imperfect human — you’re not something so simple as just brave, you are nothing but true, you are not fearless because your fears still exist and when most people would have faltered, you live in spite of them anyway.” And to those that couldn’t stay in this life, it wasn’t because they were not brave, or good, or enough — it was because this life did not welcome them for all the extraordinary gifts they had to offer — and that is our loss, all of ours — we remember you and we mourn you and we love you still. One day there will be less loss, that is all we can hope for and work toward.


Listed below are some links to resources, organizations, and the educational articles called upon for this blog post. There are of course many, many more — and we will spend TDOR sharing those via our social media to help share some trans joy, to help spread some trans support, and to help celebrate some trans brilliance.

Organizations You Should Support/Donate To:

marsha p johnson instutute

trans people of color co

sylvia rivera law project

twoc collective

somos familia valle

LGBTQ Freedom Fund

equality texas



Trans Creators You Should Follow:




pinkmantaray (Schuyler Bailar)


Trans Brands You Should Buy From:

stealth bros

awarewolf apparel

ziggy’s naturals

FLAVNT Streetwear


Resources cited in this blog:

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