Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded on Nov. 20, 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a trans activist, to honor the trans people who lost their lives due to anti-transgender violence. The 1999 Transgender Day of Remembrance followed the 1998 murder of Rita Hester, a black trans woman.
Gwendolyn Ann Smith said, "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."
November is Transgender Awareness Month and the 20th anniversary of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Transgender Awareness Month aims to shed light on various issues faced trans people face. Events are being held nationwide throughout the duration of November and during Transgender Awareness Week (Nov. 13 - 19).