Trans Day of Resilience Celebrates Beauty and Resistance of Trans People of Color

By N. Jamiyla Chisholm Nov 20, 2019

This has been a year of surviving and thriving for trans people of color. To “lift up Black trans and femmes and their vision to live freely,” Forward Together connected 10 trans and nonbinary artists and poets of color to create original art that celebrates the community for Trans Day of Resilience (TDOR) on November 20. The project is a reimagining of the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, which memorializes people whose lives were taken by anti-trans violence.

Per The Advocate, these are the 18 transgender women of color whose homicides were reported this year:

Dana Martin, 31, January 6 in Montgomery, Alabama

Ashanti Carmon,  27, March 31 in Fairmount Heights, Maryland

Claire Legato, 21, April 15 in Cleveland, Ohio

Muhlaysia Booker, 23, May 18 in Dallas, Texas

Michelle “Tamika” Washington, 40, May 19 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Paris Cameron, 20, May 25 in Detroit, Michigan

Chynal Lindsey, 26,  June 1 in Dallas, Texas

Chanel Scurlock, 23, June 5 in Lumberton, North Carolina

Zoe Spears,  23, June 13 in Washington, D.C.

Brooklyn Lindsey, 32, June 25, in Kansas City, Missouri

Denali Berries Stuckey,  29, July 20 in North Charleston, South Carolina

Tracy Single,  22, July 30 in Houston, Texas

Marquis “Kiki” Fantroy, 21, July 31 in Miami, Florida

Pebbles LaDime Doe, 24, August 4 in Allendale County, South Carolina

Bailey Reeves, 17, September 2 in Baltimore, Maryland

Bee Love Slater, 23, September 4 in Clewiston, Florida

Itali Marlowe,  29, September 20 in Houston, Texas

Brianna “BB” Hill, 30, October 14 in Kansas City, Missouri

Led by Forward Together, a national woman of color-led organization that advocates for community rights, in collaboration with the Audre Lorde Project, TDOR was launched in 2014 “by and for trans people of color, to see ourselves, celebrate one another, nurture resistance and femifest a world of trans liberation.” The goal of this year’s Resilience project “is to expand the conversation towards honoring and supporting trans people while they are alive, and not just in memoriam,” according to an emailed statement.

To that end, there will be a Twitter chat on Wednesday (November 20) featuring Transgender Law Center, visionary activists Ashlee Marie Preston and Bamby Salcedo, an 2019 TDOR artists and poets Benji Hart, Féi Hernandez and xoài phạm. Follow the conversation with hashtag #TDOR.

A few of the pieces created for this year’s celebration:




“At a time when White supremacy and anti-trans oppression are killing trans women of color, we offer this art to share our vision of trans freedom,” said Micah Bazant, Forward Together artist in residence. “Trans communities of color have always existed and have always used art to survive. As the government tries to erase trans people from laws and policies, art and culture are especially critical. There is no way to erase the beauty and power of trans resistance.”

View more of the art—along with statements from the artists—here. Listen to the poetry here.