(WM) Organizations and activists will highlight transgender lives and reflect on those that have been lost leading up to and on Nov. 20, the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.

The observance has honored lives lost in acts of anti-transgender violence since 1999. According to the Human Rights Campaign, more than 30 known victims have been reported across the U.S. in 2020.

Transgender Awareness Week will precede TDoR, raising visibility for transgender people and addressing the issues they face. Within it, Metro Inclusive Health will hold its fourth annual Trans Fashion & Health Expo Nov. 9-14 in partnership with Tampa’s  James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital.

This year’s event will be held virtually, allowing participants to attend from across the nation. They’re encouraged to log on for a wide variety of workshops tailored to the transgender experience, including a keynote address from Schuyler Bailar.

Bailar is the first transgender athlete to compete on a National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division One men’s team, the highest level of intercollegiate athletics overseen by the NCAA. He will host “Coming Out: Friends, Family and Workplace” Nov. 14 from 12-1 p.m.

“The systemic barriers to accessing health care and economic stability that exist for the trans and gender diverse community are harrowing,” Metro LGBTQ+ Division Manager Cole Foust says. “We organize this event every year in efforts to alleviate those barriers and to create a space that celebrates trans, non-binary and gender diverse people.

“It’s also an opportunity to share that Metro Inclusive Health will always be a place for the community to access affirming and inclusive healthcare and community programming,” he adds. Participants will have the opportunity to win thousands of dollars in prizes and registration is now open.

TDoR vigils will follow Nov. 20 throughout Tampa Bay. ALSO Youth will reflect on TDoR at its Sarasota headquarters from 6-7 p.m. with support from CAN Community Health.

The organization will mark the occasion with a candlelight vigil recognizing the names of those murdered in the past year, beginning with music from Modern Marimba and a young speaker. Read more on the organization’s Facebook event page.

St. Petersburg TDoR will subsequently hold its own candlelit vigil from  7-8 p.m. at St. Petersburg City Hall, simultaneously streaming the gathering on Facebook. In-person attendees are encouraged to wear masks, which will be made available on-site if needed and to maintain social distance.

St. Petersburg TDoR is organized by area gender therapist Tristan Byrnes and 6S Boutique owner Andrew Citino. “This is a day to remember, memorialize and honor those within the transgender community who have lost their lives due to hate and bigotry,” Byrnes says.

“This is a time to honor the lives lead by amazing human beings and to bring awareness to the unfortunate hate that surrounds us, as well as the love and support that there is for trans people,” Citino adds. Read more at the organizers’ Facebook event page.


For more information or to register for Metro Inclusive Health’s fourth annual Trans Fashion & Health Expo, visit MetroTampaBay.org/TFHE. For more information about St. Petersburg TDoR’s vigil or ALSO Youth’s, visit Facebook.com/St.PeteTDOR and ALSOYouth.org.