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A Feminist Trans Day of Remembrance Reading List

Yesterday was Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day dedicated to honoring of all those killed by transphobic violence around the world.

The day began in Boston in 1999, when friends and chosen family of murdered black trans women Rita Hester and Chanelle Pickett came together to grieve and remember their friends, who had been forgotten by society and the legal system. The day has since spread around the country and the world, an opportunity for trans communities and their allies to “honor the dead and fight like hell for the living.”

Once again, 2017 is the deadliest year on record for trans people in the United States. And as is the case every year, the overwhelming majority of the victims of (recorded) transphobic violence in the U.S. are trans women of color — specifically, black trans women and black transfeminine people. Media attributes these deaths to individual actors — random acts of violence, unsolved murders, unknown motives. But this violence is anything but coincidental. Trans women of color exist at the intersection of multiple social structures that enable violence, including mass incarceration, criminalization, immigration detention, poverty, employment discrimination, and homelessness.

Trans liberation is a feminist issue, and no feminist vision of a better world can succeed without ending transphobic violence. Below are some suggestions for personal essays and analyses to support trans existence and resistance, today and every day.

The TurnUp4TT Collective says that all transphobic violence is state violence.

Maryam asks, what does it mean to be killed by transphobia?  

Venus Selenite says that in a society that devalues trans life, all trans suicides are murders.

Chrys Tran’s thread on whose grief gets prioritized on Trans Day of Remembrance.

Morgan Collado discusses ways to help trans women of color survive.  

Kuchenga says the children are our future.

Jay Wu on fighting sexual violence against trans students.

This image by Amir Khadar & kiki nicole is part of a beautiful annual project by trans and gender non-conforming artists and writers of color. Check out the rest of this year’s creations here. Cazembe Murphy Jackson discusses reproductive justice as trans resilience.

Samantha Allen envisions a political movement to end transphobic violence.

Joshua Jennifer Espinoza’s poetry: “Makeup Ritual” and “Pardon My Gender” and  “I Dream of Horses Eating Cops.”   

Read/listen to xoài phạm and Art Twink’s “Prayer.”

Support and learn about the work of Familia Trans and Queer Liberation, Transgender Justice Project, Free Ky Peterson and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project.

Write a letter to an incarcerated trans person through the Prisoner Correspondance Project or Black and Pink local chapters.  

Header image: Ethan X. Parker (@Ethan Draws Stuff)  

In-text image by Amir Khadar & kiki nicole, as part of an annual project by trans and gender non-conforming artists and writers of color. Check out the rest of this year’s creations here.  

Jess is a first-gen college graduate, LGBTQ person and cat lover living in Boston, MA. At Feministing, Jess writes about the intersection of state and interpersonal violence, LGBTQ communities and radical activism. Jess can usually be found on public transportation or the internet.

Jess is a first-gen college graduate, LGBTQ person and cat lover living in Boston, MA. Jess can usually be found on public transportation or the internet.

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