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Damien Center recognizes Transgender Day of Remembrance in Indiana

Transgender Day of Remembrance

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Transgender Day of Remembrance was created to honor people in the transgender community who’ve been lost to violence.

The Human Rights Campaign says 41 transgender and gender nonconforming people were killed by violence in 2022, a decrease from 59 fatalities reported in 2021.

The Damien Center on Monday had its yearly panel discussion to remember people killed over the last year. Organizers called the killing of trans men and women a new epidemic.

They also said more resources than ever exist for the LGBTQ+ community.

“Our voices are finally being heard,” said Da’Toria Hobson, a YTG Care Navigator at the Damien Center. “Our voices are not just being heard when we pass away. Our voices are being heard while we’re alive.”

Transgender Day of Remembrance, also referred to as TDOR, was started by Gwendolyn Ann Smith in 1999, according to Glaad. The goal was to hold a vigil in honor of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998.

“TDOR did not start today. TDOR started in 1999 because a trans woman was killed. A black trans woman was killed. And we’re continuing with that legacy today,” Hobson said. “To honor, not just here, but the hundreds and thousands of trans and nonbinary brothers and sisters who have been killed along the way.”

The Trans Day of Remembrance has grown from that vigil in 1999 to a national observance to honor transgender lives lost to continued violence against the community.

More information about the Damien Center and the resources offered there can be found on its website.