By Oregon Food Bank LGBTQ Affinity Group

Today begins Transgender Awareness Week — a time to honor and recognize the strong, resilient communities of trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people. From November 13 to 19 we are called to highlight the stories and work of those in the trans community — and to create safer spaces that increase trans visibility. 

OUR SHARED FIGHT

At Oregon Food Bank, we know that food insecurity disproportionately affects our trans friends and neighbors. We also recognize that trans communities of color are often most likely to experience hunger and anti-trans violence. We stand in solidarity with the trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming community — because it is our community. And each year, we renew our commitment to amplify these critical stories and actively fight for equal rights for all.

SOLEMN ORIGINS

Transgender Awareness Week always occurs in the week leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance. This year, November 20 marks this solemn day to honor and memorialize those who have lost their lives as a result of anti-trans violence. 

This day began after the violent murder of Rita Hester in 1998. Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender advocate started Transgender Day of Remembrance as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester and to commemorate all of the transgender people lost to targeted violence since her death.

GET INVOLVED & TAKE ACTION

There are many ways that you can stand in solidarity with and show support for the trans community. Please see the list of links below to see how you can recognize this day in your community. 

Nov. 17
Transgender Day of Remembrance Interfaith Vigil 4-7pm Eliot Center

Nov. 20
Trans Day of Remembrance Benefit Show at Crush Bar 8pm
Trans Diaspora of Resilience – Trans POC event Ori Gallery 6-9pm
Trans Day of Remembrance – PSU Women’s Resource Center 3-5pm
Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil – PCC SE Campus vigil 1-3pm
Trans Day of Remembrance at Washington State University in Vancouver, WA
Transgender Day of Remembrance – WYCA of Clark County 6:30-8:30pm

“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people – sometimes in the most brutal ways possible – it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”

– Gwendolyn Ann Smith
Transgender Day of Remembrance founder