Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
This Sunday, November 20, 2022, at 3PM Iowa Wesleyan’s GSA and PFLAG Mount Pleasant will be holding a vigil by the flagpole on the Iowa Wesleyan campus to reflect on the importance of this day.
Starting in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a vigil was held 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.
According to a recent Pew poll, nearly 90% of Americans say they personally know someone who is lesbian, gay, or bisexual. However, multiple polls show that approximately 20% of Americans say they personally know someone who is transgender. Given this reality, most Americans learn about transgender people through politicians and the media. So when they talk about transgender issues – it is imperative that they get it right.
In Iowa we are seeing growing intolerance of transgender individuals as evidenced in the recent election. Too often transgender youth are the targets at the time when they are most vulnerable to suicide and violence. Too often they are bullied at school by fellow students and adults. Too often they are afraid to tell their own parents for fear of rejection.
This Sunday, November 20, 2022, Iowa Wesleyan’s GSA and PFLAG Mount Pleasant will hold a vigil at 3PM on the Iowa Wesleyan campus. We hope that others will join us as we embark on a project of education to reverse the current trends. Transgender individuals are not political footballs. They are people who deserve the right to live a safe and comfortable life here in Iowa, in the United States, and in the world.
Join us on Sunday, November 20th, as we remember those lost to intolerance and violence. We can do better.
Contact Katie Aranda, President, PFLAG Mount Pleasant at Katiearanda@gmail.com, 309-536-0151 or
Bob Mueller, Secretary, PFLAG Mount Pleasant at