Published November 18, 2016
Contributing author: Katelyn Owens
Transgender Day of Remembrance occurs annually on November 20. Organizations and individuals around the world join together to remember those we lost due to anti-trans violence and to shed light on the continued violence transgender and gender non-conforming face every day. Triangle Community Center has a long history of joining together with the Rainbow Task Force of the First Unitarian Church in Westport to recognize the event.
This year, Triangle Community Center will be hosting the Transgender Day of Remembrance at the center in collaboration with the Rainbow Task Force and Rev. Thompson of St. Paul's in Norwalk. There are many people to thank for making this event a reality every year. Here are just a few of them sharing their thoughts on this important day for our community.
What has been your involvement with TDOR events at TCC?
I have been privileged to work with Amy Rose from TCC and Arnela Ten Meer, who is involved with David Vita from the Universal Unitarian Church in Westport. I believe this is the fourth event with which I have had the privilege of being involved. - Karin Bork
I have been involved with the Transgender Day of Remembrance service with TCC and the Unitarian Church in Westport for the past four years. When I started, I was going by a different name, looking like a completely different person. But then and now, I am still the same person. - Alex Eliot
What does TDOR mean to you?
I am struggling with this one- so many reasons why this is important. We need to be able to acknowledge our brothers and sisters not only in the United States but world wide. I have said in the past, this event is important because it is important "to give them a voice." I hope that their souls will hear us and know that the world does have love for us all. For me it is a reminder how fragile life is and how dangerous it can be to live authentically. And, sadly, it serves as a reminder that we have so much more work to do to overcome the "stigma" of being trans. - Karin BorkFor me, the Transgender Day of Remembrance is a time to pause and think about just how many lives are touched by the hatred and violence that is ever-present in our world. Statistics may inform, but don't convey emotion. During the reading of the names, I often imagine the victim's family and friends, and the devastation they had to endure. It is heartbreaking. While it is a somber event, it also is an important reminder of the work we have ahead of us. To prevent further violence, visibility and normalization is crucial. While so many transgender individuals just want to live their lives quietly in peace, we need to help more people understand that transgender people are among them every day, living their lives just like regular folks. We go to work, we watch TV, we eat dinner, we laugh, we cry, we love, we bleed. - Alex Eliot
If you could tell our community members who have never gone to a TDOR event one thing, what would it be?
I would tell them that this service is extremely moving. It is sad and somber, but I hope that people find in it love and community during the service. This service will not only be happening at TCC but around the United States and also around the world. - Karin BorkCome ready to learn and feel. Feel a lot. And try using your imagination.Imagine if next November, among those names, you heard the name of your child, your sibling, your friend, your significant other? What would you do to stop it from happening? Then go out and do that - on behalf of the entire transgender community.- Alex Eliot