Celebrate Trans Day of Remembrance With A History Of Transgender Visibility

In honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), the last day of Transgender Awareness Week dedicated to the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence, GLAAD takes a look back at the history of transgender visibility.

This timeline highlights notable events  in trans history from Christine Jorgensen’s groundbreaking sex reassignment surgery in 1952 – and her subsequent efforts to publicize trans issues – to Jenna Talackova becoming the first transgender Miss Universe contestant.

TDOR was started 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 Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence,” said Smith. “I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”

Click here for a larger version of the timeline.

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  • IzzyLuna

    My film Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives was the first film in HISTORY to feature a transgender person in a lead role. Why was it not mentioned? Because of the controversial title?

    Israel Luna – writer/director

  • threedownandlocked

    From Wikipedia:

    Ticked-Off Trannies engendered controversy when it was programmed at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation condemned the film for what it called a negative portrayal of transgender people.

    Why exactly would GLAAD endorse a film it had condemned, especially when it definitely ISN’T the first film in history to feature a transgender person in a lead role?

  • IzzyLuna

    @threedownandlocked: Just because someone disagrees with the content doesn’t take the fact away. Oh, and I’d love to know what movie was the first to feature a transgender person in a lead role. I’m all ears.

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