Honoring Trans Day of Remembrance As A Pagan Or Polytheist

Honoring Trans Day of Remembrance As A Pagan Or Polytheist November 19, 2020

Image from Outright Action International


What is the Trans Day of Remembrance? Here’s the information on this day directly from Wikipedia:

“The Transgender Day of Remembrance (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. 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.”

Every year it falls on November 20th, and Trans Awareness Week leads up to this date. It includes honoring the list of names who were killed from October 1 of the prior year to September 30th of the current year.

What pagans and polytheists can do to honor Trans Day of Remembrance?

On the Greek end, I can speak to this. I would pray to Hermes Psychopompos better known as Hermes in his role of “guide of souls”. Also Hekate as a liminal goddess, that of the restless dead and of marginalized groups would also be lovely to call on this day.

Read names of the deceased. Say their names. Remember them. “What is remembered, lives.” And take the time to remember the Black trans women who were murdered, often forgotten due to being among the absolute most marginalized among us. You can find a good list of this year’s here.

Light a candle. Honor them in ritual.

What about in our practical lives?

I would help to spread awareness of transgender issues and take the time to educate and advocate. That includes both yourself and others. And not just on this day mind you, but on a regular basis.

Too many trans folk are victims of hate crimes. Some are killed over just being who they are.

Black lives matter.

Black trans lives matter, too.

But let’s also take time to appreciate the fact that this is an ongoing battle and we shouldn’t have to keep saying these things. Until their lives matter, not all lives will.

And this goes for handling your friends, too. If you’re posting about trans rights but defending your hateful, transphobic friends, you aren’t doing anything other than performative allyship. I happily cut out a whole mess of friends a few weeks ago who were unable to stop themselves from defending such bigots and their apologists. Yes, it hurt. But so does having friends who are bigots.

Respect people’s pronouns. And remember to share yours too, even if you’re cis. Normalize not assuming someone’s gender identity. But also take the time to respect people’s gender identity, period.



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