Photo courtesy of the Human Rights Campaign

Michigan Communities Observe Transgender Day of Remembrance


Transgender Day of Remembrance is an annual observance on Nov. 20 that honors the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. TDOR was started by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998.

Though Hester was not the first transgender person to be a victim of transphobia and violence, her death became the catalyst for the launch of TDOR in San Francisco on the one-year anniversary of her death.

During the week of Nov. 14-20, individuals and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people and address the issues these communities face.

There are a variety of activities and events in Michigan to memorialize those who have been murdered because of hate, to support the transgender community and to help raise awareness about the continued violence facing transgender people.

Nov. 13

University of Michigan School of Social Work

ECC Room

1080 S. University Ave. in Ann Arbor

6:30-8 p.m.

Co-hosted by the Spectrum Center

Keynote speaker Dr. Z Nicolazzo, assistant professor in the adult and higher education program and a faculty associate in the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, both at Northern Illinois University.

Russel H. Kirkhof Center

Grand Valley State University

Grand River Room 2250

1 Campus Dr in Allendale

4 p.m.

Hosted by GVSU Milton E. Ford LGBT Resource Center

Free talk with gender theorist and historian Susan Stryker. Her speech is entitled "What Transpires Now: Transgender History and the Future We Need."

Nov. 16

McKinnon Plaza

University of Michigan

303 E. Kearsley St. in Flint

6 p.m.

Hosted by Ellen Bommartio LGBTQ Center

Nov. 17

MCC Detroit

2441 Pinecrest in Ferndale

7-9 p.m.

Hosted by the Gender-Identity Network Alliance and MCC Detroit

Nov. 18

First Congregational United Church of Christ

210 West Saginaw Hwy. in Grand Ledge

6 p.m.

Hosted by Emily Rose and Nicole Wilson

Nov. 19

Salus Center

624 E. Michigan Ave. in Lansing

6-7:30 p.m.

Nov. 20

William Monroe Trotter Multicultural Center

1443 Washtenaw Ave. in Ann Arbor

6-8 p.m.

Hosted by the University of Michigan Spectrum Center

Eastern Michigan University

LGBT Resource Center

354 EMU Student Center in Ypsilanti

734-487-4149 or

The Bradley House Theatre

403 S. Jefferson Ave. in Saginaw

7:30 p.m.

Showing of "The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson"

Hosted by Perceptions and PFLAG Tri-Cities

Gender and Sexuality Center

Oakland University

312 Meadow Brook Road, 49D Oakland Center in Rochester

248-370-4336 or

9 a.m.

A panel will discuss issues transgender people face, provide resources for transgender people and offer guidance on how to help or be a good ally to the transgender community.

For more information, visit
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