Catholics Join in Praying for the Departed on Transgender Day of Remembrance

Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), a time set aside to mourn the deaths and honor the lives of trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people who died from violence. It also aims, according to the official website which coordinates activities and information for the day, to highlight how frequently this community is subjected to hate crimes, a reality too infrequently overlooked, and to encourage solidarity.

According to the TDOR website, between October 1, 2019 and September 30, 2020, 432 people around the globe died due to anti-transgender violence (including self-harm). In the United States, that number is 53 people. These numbers reflect only those deaths which get reported. The highly-Catholic nations of Brazil and Mexico were the leading nations for anti-transgender violence, with 184 and 56 deaths respectively.

For Catholics, the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) comes in the same month when we celebrate the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls, remembering in our prayers throughout November those who have died. We invite you today to visit the “Remembering Our Dead” section of TDOR’s website to read some or all of the names of those 432 people killed this past year. There you can also download a slideshow which includes photos and more details of the victims.

You are also invited to pause now for a quiet moment of prayer for the departed with words from the Irish poet and mystic John O’Donohue:

“May you continue to inspire us
To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no more separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.”

If you would like to learn more about transgender issues, please visit our resource page here, where you can find among other items, a list of ideas for making your Catholic community more inclusive of and welcoming to transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people.

Newly available is the Spanish translation of an article, “Responding responsibly as parents of transgender children,” written by Sr. Luisa Derouen, OP, who has conducted ministry with transgender people for decades, and Colt St. Amand, a transgender psychologist and doctor. For the Spanish translation, click here. For English version, click here.

Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, November 20, 2020

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