Transgender Day of Remembrance observances planned in NYC

GAG honors Trans Lives lost to gun violence
A past vigil in honor of Trans Day of Remembrance.
Donna Aceto

New York City’s LGBTQ community will gather for several vigils and other events marking Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is observed annually on November 20.

The annual vigils have been profoundly emotional in recent years in the wake of a nationwide assault on transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary individuals. This year has witnessed the murders of at least 32 transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary individuals in the United States. Last year there were at least 50 murders, which broke a record for the highest death toll since the Human Rights Campaign started tracking the numbers in 2013.

Some of the events will be in the days before and after Transgender Day of Remembrance. There will be a mix of vigils, volunteer opportunities, fundraisers, and more.

CUNY

The City College of New York is hosting the first CUNY-wide Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil on November 18 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. The event will raise awareness about transphobic violence and bigotry. Drag performer Angel Flores, aka Chiquitita, is scheduled to be the keynote speaker.

The event will be hosted in-person in the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture​ Atrium Gallery, but there will also be a virtual option over Zoom. Registration is available through Eventbrite.

CUNY will also host an event combining Transgender Day of Remembrance with Black and Latinx Transgender Solidarity Day on November 21. City Tech’s African American Studies and Gender and Sexuality Studies programs will spearhead an evening of solidarity, community, and remembrance to honor the lives of Black and Latinx people who have been targeted by hate crimes or killed. Attendees must have a CUNY ID to join the event, which will kick off in Brooklyn at the 300 Jay Street Library Building lobby.

Gays Against Guns

Gays Against Guns is on Transgender Day of Remembrance in 2019.Donna Aceto

Gays Against Guns will return for the group’s annual demonstration on Transgender Day of Remembrance, November 20. The group will hold an hour-long vigil outside the Stonewall Inn at 4 p.m. before heading inside/upstairs from 5-7:30 p.m. The event will feature the usual group of Human Beings, who dress in white and protest silently while holding placards of murdered individuals.

Gays Against Guns will create a memorial display in honor of the transgender individuals who have died over the years. Special guests will include drag artist Marti Cummings.

Black Trans Nation

Black Trans Nation, a non-profit led by TS Candii, will host a Transgiving clean-up event and Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil in Prospect Park on the afternoon of November 20. The community cleanup event will take place from 2-5 p.m., while the vigil will begin at 5:30. There will be a transgiving menu featuring main dishes, sides, and beverages. To find out where to meet, folks can RSVP at https://bit.ly/LWYLTransGivingEdition.

Ali Forney Center

On November 20, the Ali Forney Center — a national non-profit providing housing and other supportive services for LGBTQ youth — is hosting a Family Dance-A-Thon fundraiser at the Knockdown Center in Queens from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will feature DJs such as Amber Valentine, Boyyyish, Drew Baker, Ty Sunderland, PAT, Jon Ali, The Muses and Josh Melzer. There will also be chefs, performers, and others in attendance. Learn more at wearefamily.aliforneycenter.org/.

TransLash Media

TransLash Media, which combines journalism and personal narrative, is commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance with a new zine, podcast, and animation.

With a focus on bodily autonomy and awareness, TransLash Zine Vol. 5 uses art, photography, and more to empower transgender individuals to tell their stories. For the podcast, host Imara Jones talks to We Testify founder Renee Bracey Sherman about trans representation in the abortion fight. Another component of TransLash Media’s Transgender Day of Remembrance coverage will also include “Worthy,” an animated poetry film by Averi Rose, who “shares a story of expansive, ever-evolving, revolutionary womanhood in the relationship she has with herself as a Black trans woman,” according to TransLash Media.

The Center and Housing Works

The Center and Housing Works will host a vigil ceremony and dinner on November 18 in commemoration of Transgender Day of Remembrance. There will be performances by Housing Works members and the Youth Pride Chorus, along with a guided breathing ceremony. Indalesio Tellez of Nuestra Mesa BK will provide dinner for attendees. Register at gaycenter.org/tdor.

Folks can also find an interactive altar on the first floor of The Center, where there are candles and notes for visitors who can add their own remembrances through the end of this month.

Destination Tomorrow

Destination Tomorrow will host the fifth annual silent vigil evening march in the Bronx on November 18. Folks will meet at 6:30 p.m. at 145th Street and Lennox Avenue. The silent march will begin at 7 p.m. and head across the 145th Street Bridge up 149th Street to Destination Tomorrow’s offices. There will be speakers and light refreshments. The event is being held in collaboration with the New Pride Agenda, the Audre Lorde Project, Housing Works, and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.

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