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Transgender Day of Remembrance 2023

Transgender Day of Remembrance: Honouring the memory of trans people lost to transphobic violence and working to recognise and address the prejudice and violence the community continues to face.


Monday 20th November marks the annual observance of Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), when we honour the memory of trans people who have been lost to transphobic violence. It is an important date that offers the opportunity for everyone to reflect on how they can take an active part in fostering a safe and inclusive environment.

At Queen Mary, we want to create an environment where trans people can be themselves and are treated with kindness, dignity and respect. Our Trans Inclusion Statement of Commitment 2022 [PDF 237KB] lays out the University’s balanced approach and position with specific regard to trans inclusion. It is the synthesis of various legal duties Queen Mary is obliged to take due consideration of, and further incorporates our Values (Inclusive, Proud, Ambitious, Collegial, Ethical).

Throughout the day on Monday 20 November there will be the opportunity for students and staff to come together and light a battery powered candle at the Students' Union Hub.

**Please note: content and links within this article contains descriptions and images of anti-LGBTQIA violence and transphobia. Please take care of yourself**

What is Transgender Day of Remembrance?

Transgender Day of Remembrance is marked on 20 November each year and marks the end of Transgender Awareness Week. The day is honoured in hundreds of locations worldwide and was established in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith, as a vigil to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a Black transgender woman who was killed in 1998.

Why is Trans Day of Remembrance needed?

Transgender Day of Remembrance is a sombre day to draw attention to the fact that trans and gender non-conforming people continue to experience violence and oppression around the world. It's important to remember that this is not just the result of transphobia but also of transmisogyny, racism and intersecting identities.

In October this year, it was reported that hate crimes against transgender people hit a record high in England and Wales. In the year ending March 2023, 4,732 hate crimes against transgender people were recorded – a rise of 11% on the previous year according the Home Office report.

The CEO of the LGBT+ anti-abuse charity Galop was quote as saying “These figures have never captured the true picture of hate crime in this country. The government’s own research shows that over 90% of anti-LGBT+ hate crimes go unreported”. The Home Office report also noted: “Transgender issues have been heavily discussed by politicians, the media and on social media over the last year, which may have led to an increase in these offences”.

The shocking murder of Brianna Ghey, a 16-year-old transgender girl, in February 2023 is sadly but one example of the violence experienced by the trans community since Trans Day of Remembrance was held last year.

Globally, the Trans Murder Monitoring report states that 320 trans and gender diverse people were reported murdered between 1 October 2022 and 30 September 2023. The report draws attention to the fact that the vast majority of those killed (94%) were trans women or trans-feminine people and that most were Black, and many were sex workers.

Given this backdrop of increasing attacks on the transgender community, it remains vitally important that we all continue to learn more and work together to support the trans community.

Support and networks for trans students

LGBT+ Society: provides a space for all members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community at Queen Mary, connecting LGBTQIA+ students through regular socials.

LGBT+ Society (Whitechapel): a welcoming and supportive environment for all LGBTQIA+ (and unsure!) medics, dentists, and other students studying at the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry.

Togetherall: a support service available to students, offering unlimited, 24/7 accessible online support.

What can you do to support the trans community at Queen Mary?

Queen Mary condemns all forms of unlawful discrimination, victimisation, bullying, harassment and hate crime perpetrated against trans people and the University will take all allegations of such seriously, in line with our Dignity at Work and Study policies.

Our community are key to fostering a safe, respectful and supportive environment. To support our trans and gender non-confirming staff and students you can:

  • Read and share our Being a Trans Ally leaflet [PDF]: find out what we mean by ‘trans’ and what you can do to be a trans ally
  • Read and share our #PronounsMatter leaflet [PDF]: find out what pronouns are, how to use them, and why they matter, as well as how you can show your support for gender diverse staff and students
  • Signify your commitment to providing a safe and comfortable environment for all of our LGBTQIA+ community and wear a rainbow lanyard. Contact Queen Mary's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team at 
  • Report if you experience or witness transphobic bullying, harassment or discrimination (anonymously if this is preferable) and /or access support through our Report + Support tool
  • Learn more about the experiences of trans people by listening to trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming voices telling their own stories. As part of celebrating LGBTQIA+ History Month 2023, Queen Mary published a list of media recommendations which explore the lived experiences of trans people and are a great place to start. 

External Resources

Galop: Community safety charity for LGBT+ people giving advice and support to people who have experienced biphobia, homophobia, transphobia, sexual violence or domestic abuse. Galop also supports LGBT+ who encounter problems with the police or have questions about the criminal justice system.

Gender Identity Research & Education Society (GIRES): a UK-wide organisation whose purpose is to improve the lives of trans and gender diverse people of all ages, including those who are non-binary and non-gender.

Gendered Intelligence (GI): not-for-profit community interest company with the aim of increasing understandings of gender diversity. GI work with the trans community and those who impact on trans lives, specialising in supporting young trans people aged 8-25.

Mermaids: supports young gender variant people.

Press for Change (PFC): key lobbying and legal support organisation for trans people in the UK. They provide legal advice, training, and research for trans people. PFC has worked regularly with the government and partner trans organisations to inform government legislation affecting the trans community.

Switchboard: a helpline providing a one-stop listening service for LGBT+ people.

TransBareAll: a trans led, voluntary organisation that works with trans people to explore feelings and decisions around bodies, sexual health and intimacy. TransBareAll believes in improving the health and wellbeing of trans people and provide a space for trans people to discuss and explore things that impacts their lives.

TransUnite: a comprehensive resource for people in the UK searching for support in the transgender community. TransUnite connects you to a network of groups throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and can be split into physical local and online groups.



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