Transgender Day of Remembrance 2021

What is the Transgender Day of Remembrance?

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual observance, on November 20, to honour the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender, transphobic violence, and from suicide.

Transphobia is the fear, hatred, disbelief, or mistrust of people who are transgender, thought to be transgender, or whose gender expression doesn’t conform to traditional gender roles. Transphobia can prevent transgender and gender nonconforming people from living full lives free from harm.

Transphobia can take many different forms, including:

  • negative attitudes and beliefs
  • aversion to and prejudice against transgender people
  • irrational fear and misunderstanding
  • disbelief or discounting preferred pronouns or gender identity
  • derogatory language and name-calling
  • bullying, abuse, and even violence

Transphobia can create both subtle and overt forms of discrimination. For example, people who are transgender (or even just thought to be transgender) may be denied jobs, housing, or health care, just because they’re transgender. Transphobia also negatively affects mental health, with rates of depression higher among trans people who’ve experienced a hate crime.

Some people hold transphobic beliefs because their parents and families encourage negative ideas about trans people or hold strict beliefs about traditional gender roles. Other people are transphobic because they have misinformation or have no information at all about trans identities.

We have created a list of 11 books that look at transgender lives, either through real stories or fiction. These are a great place to start if you wish to learn more about the lives, experiences and opinions of transgender people.


Trans Love: An Anthology of Transgender and Non-Binary Voices
by Freiya Benson

Adult Non-Fiction

A ground-breaking anthology of writing on the topic of love, written by trans and non-binary people who share their thoughts, feelings and experiences of love in all its guises. The collection spans familial, romantic, spiritual and self-love as well as friendships and ally love, to provide a broad and honest understanding of how trans people navigate love and relationships, and what love means to them. people.

My Brother’s Name is Jessica
by John Boyne

Teen Fiction
Available as eBooks, eAudiobook and physical book

Sam Waver has always been a loner: bullied, struggling at school, with parents who have very little time for him. The one person he has always been able to rely on is his beloved older sibling – but when they announce that they are transitioning, Sam’s life is thrown upside down. He’s convinced nothing will ever be the same again – but as Sam is about to discover, nothing is more constant than love.

One in Every Crowd
By Ivan Coyote

Young Adult Non-Fiction
Available as eBook

Comprised of original stories and a hand-picked selection of Coyote’s best work, this collection is aimed at young adults. Included are stories from Ivan’s own tomboy past, where playing hockey and wearing pants were the norm; and her adult life in the big city, where she encounters both cruelty and kindness in unexpected places.

Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman
by Laura Kate Dale

Adult Non-Fiction

In this candid, first-of-its-kind memoir, Laura Kate Dale recounts what life is like growing up as a gay trans woman on the autism spectrum. From struggling with sensory processing, managing socially demanding situations and learning social cues and feminine presentation, through to coming out as trans during an autistic meltdown, Laura draws on her personal experiences from life prior to transition and diagnosis, and moving on to the years of self-discovery, to give a unique insight into the nuances of sexuality, gender and autism, and how they intersect.

Freshwater
by Akwaeke Emezi

Adult Fiction

The story follows Ada who is born an ogbanje—an malevolent Igbo spirit living inside a child, whose goal is to torment its family by dying young and then reappearing in the next child. But Ada does not die, so we learn how someone, with multiple spirits occupying their mind, lives.

Akwaeke Emezi writes masterfully, exploring themes of mental health, trauma, sexual violence and gender identity, drawing on their own experience of being gender non-binary and trans, and having different identities.

George
by Alex Gino

Children’s Fiction

A bright, bold debut about a girl who happens to have been born a boy but refuses to let that stand in the way of her dream, ‘George’ is a pertinent and poignant read for kids aged 10+. George was Alex Gino’s first novel. George was a winner of the Children’s Stonewall Award, the Lambda Literary Award and the Children’s Choice Book Awards.

Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl
by Andrea Lawlor

Adult Fiction

It’s 1993 and Paul Polydoris tends bar at the only gay club in a university town thrumming with politics and partying. He studies queer theory, has a dyke best friend, makes zines, and is a flâneur with a rich dating life. But Paul’s also got a secret: he’s a shapeshifter. Paul transforms his body at will in a series of adventures that take him from Iowa City to Boystown, to Provincetown and finally to San Francisco – a journey through the deep queer archives of struggle and pleasure. Andrea Lawlor’s debut novel offers a speculative history of early 90s identity politics during the heyday of ACT UP and Queer Nation.

Birthday
by Meredith Russo

Young Adult Fiction

Meet Morgan and Eric: born on the same day, at the same time and bonded for life. In this moving dual narrative, we meet them every birthday from the age of 13, as Eric figures out who he is, as Morgan decides to live as her true self, and as they realise they are inextricably part of each other.

I’m Afraid of Men
by Vivek Shraya

Adult Non-Fiction

Toxic masculinity takes many insidious forms, from misogyny and sexual harassment to homophobia, transphobia and bullying. Vivek Shraya has first-hand experience with nearly all of them. As a transwomen she grew up experiencing aggression for displaying femininity, and is haunted by the violence of men. ‘I’m Afraid of Men’ is a culmination of the years Vivek spent observing men and creating her own version of manhood. Through deeply personal reflection, she offers a rare and multifaceted perspective on gender and a hopeful reimagining of masculinity at a time when it’s needed more than ever.

Non-Binary Lives
Edited by Jos Twist

Adult Non-Fiction

This wide-ranging and powerful collection of essays gathers together leading non-binary figures to explore how their gender identities intersect with multiple aspects of other identities including race, class, age, sexuality, faith, community, family, disability and health.

The Art of Being Normal
By Lisa Williamson

Young Adult Fiction

David is funny and quirky and has always felt different from other people – but he also has a huge secret that only his two best friends know. Ever since he can remember, he has felt like a girl trapped in the body of a boy.

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