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Transgender Day of Remembrance

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed annually on November 20. The national officers of the United Church of Christ and the leadership of the the Open and Affirming Coalition of the UCC are urging congregations to mark the observance by renewing their commitment to welcome, and advocate for, the transgender community.

Here is the full statement from the UCC officers and the ONA Coalition:

Nov. 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) — a national day of mourning for the transgender persons who have lost their lives, through murder or suicide, in the past year. TDOR is also a day when we renew our commitment to stand with the transgender community whenever their rights and dignity as human beings are under attack.

This Day of Remembrance comes at an urgent time for the transgender Americans. Two days after Christmas 2014, a trans teenager named Leelah Alcorn committed suicide near Cincinnati, Ohio. Hers was one of many deaths, but her heartbreaking final words — ending with her challenge to “fix society” — disturbed our consciences. Since then, at least 22 transgender Americans have been murdered throughout the country. Most of them were trans women of color.

May our witness leave no doubt that the United Church of Christ stands with our transgender neighbors near and far — and that we are keeping faith with the transgender and gender queer members of our church. Therefore we ask our congregations to consider the following:

1. If there is a TDOR event in your community, participate and make sure your presence as members of a UCC congregation is publicized and visible. A list of local events will be posted on www.tdor.info. If no TDOR observance has been organized locally, consider sponsoring one in your church.

2. On Sunday, Nov. 22, hold the victims of transphobia in prayer when you gather for worship, and renew your commitment as a congregation to advocate for all whose lives and mental and physical health are threatened by hatred — especially for our transgender neighbors. Here are worship resources from the UCC’s national setting that will help you plan your service: