Remember those who died as a result of anti-trans violence. Nurture yourself and your community. Take the time to reflect, connect, and remember.
Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). Many communities around the country hold formal vigils to mark this day and remember those who died as a result of anti-trans violence.
This year, when so many of us are unable to gather in person for TDOR events, it is even more important to find connection, community, and symbols that remind us of both the grief and resilience we share as individuals and as a collective.
Each community and each individual chooses to honor the lives lost in the past year in unique ways. Some with candles and the reading of names. Others with marches and speeches. Other communities are filled with anger and outrage at the injustice of lives being cut short. While other communities are drenched in sorrow and despair.
Most people embody many different emotions on this day. It is vital that we each take time to acknowledge our emotions – without judgment – and recognize that others will have their own, individual ways of processing the emotions of this day.
There are many things we can each do on this day of Remembrance. Here are just a few ideas of how to nurture yourself and each other:
- Allow yourself feel the emotions that arise today. Find safe places for you to feel your feelings – alone or with others.
- Call someone in the trans community to let them know you are thinking about them. Ask them how they are feeling and create the time and space to listen to their response.
- Take a few moments to center yourself, through a brisk walk or roll, a hot shower, or in meditation (or a shorter meditation from our friends at MenHealing). Consider picking up one leaf on the ground for every person who has died this year – or for every person who lifts you up (if focusing on the living is what grounds you more).
- Light a candle for your own resilience and your own beauty.
- Make art! Sing. Write. Dance. Move. Draw. Let yourself have the time to create – to allow grief, sorrow, anger, tears, sadness, outrage, confusion, frustration and any of your emotions to flow through you and out into whatever form of art you feel most inspired to make.
Here are some other actions you can take, which will raise awareness of the day, as well as help support those who are feeling the most pain and hardship on this day:
- Post on social media about TDOR. We made a short toolkit of sharable posts you can use or modify.
- Tell a co-worker, colleague, class mate about what day it is. Let them know TDOR is an important day for all of us to acknowledge.
- Attend a TDOR vigil or event in your community.
- If an event is not scheduled in your area, consider posting on social media that you will be at a specific location at a certain time and encourage others to join you for moments of reflection, silence, and/or action.
- Look up one of the people who died this year as a result of anti-trans violence – learn more about them. If you can, share what you learned with someone so you can help carry on their legacy and memory.
- Connect with a trans elder in your community. Learn about who they are. Ask them to share stories with you. Create and strengthen bonds with those who are living, to fortify our collective web of resilience so we can weather the days that are more difficult.
- Learn about the history of TDOR, read about Gwen Smith and the origins of this Transgender Day of Remembrance.
More than anything, though, take care of yourself. Find and do what nurtures you and your spirit. All of us here at FORGE care about you, see you, and love you.
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