MyUmbrella, in partnership with Reading Pride, organises the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) event in Reading town centre. This year, the event will be taking place at Pentahotel, Oxford Road, Reading, Berkshire, RG1 7RH on Sunday 19th November 2017, starting at 2:30pm.
The event is an important part of the MyUmbrella calendar, as an LGBT+ charity we celebrate the diversity of being trans*, although we understand it is important to stand together and fight for more rights and equality not just locally but also in the UK and throughout the world.
As in years past, most of those lost to the ongoing epidemic of fatal anti-trans violence are people of colour, specifically black trans* women. The Reading 2015 TDoR event was the first in the town centre, with a large attendance across every section of the trans* community and allies, including representatives from Reading Council and Thames Valley Police.
This year, we will be going further by getting guest speakers from both local and national organisations to come in and speak.
Transgender Day of Remembrance was created as a way to remember those who were killed or who have committed suicide due to transphobia (anti-transgender hatred and/or prejudice). The first event was held in November as a memorial for Rita Hester, whose murder on 28th November 1998 kicked off the "Remembering Our Dead" web project and a San Francisco Candlelight Vigil in 1999. Rita Hester's murder, like most anti-transgender murder cases, has yet to be solved.
Although not every person remembered during TDoR identifies as transgender – that is to say transsexual, gender-fluid or other variant of gender – each was a victim of violence based on anti-trans bias. TDoR serves several purposes. Firstly, it raises public awareness of hate crime against the transgender community, something often not reported by mainstream media. TDoR also provides a public forum for mourning and honouring the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise have been forgotten. Through the vigil, we express our love and respect for all of our community, in the face of National indifference and hatred. TDoR reminds non-transgender people that we are their sons, daughters, parents, friends, lovers, partners and so much more. TDoR gives transgender allies a chance to stand with us in vigil and remember those who have died.