November is Transgender Awareness Month and marks the 20th anniversary of the Transgender Day of Rememberance.
Transgender Day of Rememberance was founded on November 20, 1999 by trans activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith after the brutal murder of Rita Hester, a Black trans woman, in 1998. The day was set to honor all of the transgender people who have lost their lives due to anti-transgender violence throughout the year.
In 2019, 23 deaths have been reported from anti-transgender and transmisgonoir violence, 20 of those deaths were Black people.
Every November the transgender and gender nonconforming communities are celebrated by raising awareness. Unfortunately, the month kicked off with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announcing that it is stripping non-discrimination protections, including protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
In San Francisco, Mayor London Breed quickly condemned the news and was joined by Senator Scott Wiener and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman for a ceremony to light up City Hall in the trans flag colors and raise the trans flag over the building.
"Despite transphobic and bigoted efforts around the country to dismantle the rights of trans people, our trans community will never be erased,” said Breed, according to the Bay Aera Reporter. “In San Francisco, we celebrate our diversity. We are committed to continuing our investment in the trans community by providing support through the enactment of policies and programs."
The New York Transgender Advocacy Group and Gays Against Guns will also host a candlelight vigil and march to the Stonewall Monument in New York City.
Transgender Awarness Month works to bring to the variety of issues faced by trans communities acorss the country. Now, with promotion from GLAAD, the campaign receives more media coverage and transgender advocates have organized events to educate the community.
Events are held nationwide throughout the entire month, and more specifically during Transgender Awareness Week, which is from November 13 - 19.
(Photo: Peter Hosey)