Transgender Awareness Week Celebration
For Transgender Awareness Week, we welcome visitors to help us plant crocus bulbs in our front garden beds to commemorate lives lost to transviolence.
Bulbs will available at the visitor desk with seed paper to write the name of someone to honor and plant alongside the bulb. The seeds and bulbs will flower purple in the Spring.
On Saturday, November 18th, in collaboration with the NYC Parks Department, we will be flying the transgender flag on our site for the first time in honor of Transgender Awareness Week. In addition, we will be holding a planting and remembrance ceremony in our Queer Ecologies Garden.
Each year between November 13 – 19, people and organizations around the country participate in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility about transgender and gender expansive people and address the unique challenges members of the community face. The purpose of this week is to educate the public about who transgender people are, share stories and experiences, and advance advocacy around the issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence that affect the transgender community at disproportionate rates. Transgender Awareness Week is about listening to and trusting trans people to be the architects of their own liberation.
Transgender Awareness Week ends with Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). TDOR is an annual observance on November 20th that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. TDOR was started in 1999 by transgender advocate, Gwendolyn Ann Smith, as a vigil to honor the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998 in Massachusetts. The vigil commemorated all the transgender people lost to violence since Rita Hester’s death and began an important tradition that has become the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. The event involves reading the victims’ names and ages out loud. It is noteworthy that a high number of people whose deaths are reported are Black trans women. This highlights the intersection of racism, sexism, transphobia, and classism. In 2020 alone, at least 35 transgender and non-binary people have been killed, many of them Black and Latinx trans women. This figure has increased exponentially from 2019 and previous years.