Transgender Day of Remembrance solemnly observed on Nov. 20, in light of Club Q tragedy

The suspect in the Saturday night shooting at Club Q used an AR-15-style semiautomatic weapon.
Published: Nov. 20, 2022 at 2:37 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 20, 2022 at 2:51 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Transgender Day of Remembrance is celebrated annually on Nov. 20 in honor of transgender individuals who died in acts of anti-trans violence. It is now observed globally by LGBTQ+ community members and allies alike as violence and discrimination continue against transgender individuals.

In Phoenix, Kobalt Bar will be having a remembrance event hosted by Eddie Broadway and Gia Colby from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m., alongside other performers including Ben Havoc, Regina Gazelle, and others. Boycott Bar in the Melrose District will be hosting a Candlelight Vigil of Hope & Remembrance at 6 p.m. in the day’s honor as well as the tragedy that happened at Club Q. Flagstaff Pride is hosting a candlelight vigil and reading of names on the front lawn of the Flagstaff City Government building from 3:30 p.m. until 5 p.m.

Phoenix-based LGBTQ+ organization One-n-ten released a statement in honor of the day as follows:

According to the Human Rights Campaign, there have been 32 transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals who have been killed in the U.S. in 2022 in acts of transphobic violence. Above all, Black trans women make up the overwhelming majority of all victims. This number is expected to increase in light of the recent shooting at the Colorado Springs gay nightclub Club Q. If you’d like to give in honor of the victims, click here for the fund established by Colorado Gives 365.

Various other LGBTQ+ global community leaders, advocates, and allies are speaking out about the overnight tragedy in light of the remembrance day. Celebrated drag show producers and directors The Boulet Brothers posted to Twitter:

New York Times best-selling author of “The Bad Feminist” shared on Twitter:

GLSEN, an LGBTQ+ advocacy, and education organization, posted the following:

Almost 70% of Americans believe they have never met someone who is trans. Transgender youth are disproportionately impacted by bullying, poverty, suicidality, depression, and anxiety, according to The Trevor Project. In 2021 alone, more than 140 bills were proposed in over 30 separate state legislatures directly targeting transgender youth and their access to healthcare.

If you have a transgender, non-binary, or gender non-conforming family member and are unsure how best to talk about how you can support them today and the rest of the year, consider the following suggestions by GLAAD, One-n-Ten, Human Rights Campaign, and others:

  • Always use their chosen name: some transgender individuals cannot afford a legal name change yet. When addressing that person, do not say “she/he wants to be called,” “she/he calls herself/himself,” or “she goes by (insert name).” A trans person’s chosen name is their real name, and that name should be used out of respect.
  • Ask everyone their pronouns: we all use pronouns, and pronouns help express gender information. Respect individuals’ pronouns and how they want to be perceived by the world.
  • Understand that there’s no way to be a “perfect” ally: The LGBTQ+ community is diverse, and mistakes happen. Respect, understanding, education, and growth are key.
  • Educate yourself: There are multiple documentaries available on Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and beyond as well as books that are accessible for educational purposes. Listening to others’ stories and learning from their experiences is a great way to support your transgender loved one. Netflix’s “Disclosure” is a great place to begin.
  • Think through and be aware of the questions you ask: No one is perfect, and everyone does make mistakes, but before you ask any invasive question, think about whether it’s a respectful question or if you would like to be asked the question. A good rule of thumb is to avoid asking the person’s birth name, what or if they are taking hormones, what surgeries they have or haven’t had, and questions about their partners.
  • Avoid compliments related to stereotypes: Saying things like “You look like a real woman! I never would have known you’re trans,” “You’d look less trans if...,” “I’d date him, even if he’s trans,” and “There’s no way you’re a man/woman” are just a few examples of alleged compliments you’ll want to steer away from.
  • Realize that you don’t have to understand someone’s identity to respect it: Everyone is worthy of respect.

Historically, Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender advocate who wanted to honor her friend Rita Hester who was stabbed to death in her apartment in 1998. Smith held the first Transgender Day of Remembrance event in San Francisco’s Castro district.