NEWS & UPDATES

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Thoughts and resources on a day dedicated to our trans staff, clients and community friends.

Today (Nov. 20) is Transgender Day of Remembrance, the yearly national observance set for every Nov. 20. System Director, Diversity & Inclusion Shelly Farnan has provided a few thoughts and resources for Burrell staff, our clients and friends in the community who are transgender, or those know or who have lost individuals who are trans.

We continue to work to create a Burrell culture firmly rooted in safety, trust, connection, valuing others, accessibility, excellence, integrity, compassion and inclusion of all. With a spirt of truly welcoming, serving, celebrating ALL, all year long, we acknowledge Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR). TDOR is an annual observance on Nov. 20 that honors the memory of people who are transgender whose lives have been lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. GLAAD has a good summary of the day – and its accompanying week, which ends with TDOR – on its website.

It is estimated that 1.4 million of our U.S. population is Transgender. In 2019, to date, 22 people who are Transgender have died by fatal violence (26 people in 2018). A majority of these 22 people were women of color, two in Kansas City, Mo. And one in Kansas City, Kan. Because of who someone authentically is, is in conflict with who society expects us to be, people, trans and gender-variant people are being killed. I also would be remiss to not overtly acknowledge the ongoing reality of race and racial inequities, and the importance for everyone to engage in courageous conversations surrounding these topics as well.

While numbers and data are critical in truly understanding reality, please remember, people are more than numbers. And numbers related to trans people and experience are underreported due to fear, discrimination, ignorance, misinformation, lack of protections, and other systemic barriers and shortcomings to fully welcome, know and understand who people are. The Human Rights Campaign outlines some of these barriers in this article, which includes data on violence against the trans community. USA Today compiled a thorough and accurate overview of 2019, from reputable leaders in the field, for TDOR 2019.

I would also be remiss to not overtly acknowledge and state that people who are trans, while often a societal target, are also living and leading alongside us every single day. Today and every day at Burrell, we stand alongside and for our loved ones, friends, colleagues, neighbors and clients who are trans. We love you, appreciate you, and thank you for being exactly who you are. We are committed to reducing violence and improving overall inclusion, health and wellness by improving access to competent services, reducing unnecessary systemic barriers, and continuing to educate based in fact, research, and best practices in each and every space, to learn through every experience, and be as visible as possible in our support. We stand against hate, violence, discrimination, intolerance, and ignorance.

I am overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude for the positive change each of you are facilitating every single day for and with those who live in societally created margins. I see you and I thank you. I encourage each Burrell Team member to know someone or respectfully get to know someone who identifies as trans and to engage in community activities dedicated to minority populations. In my role, I also take ownership of creating these opportunities for each of us and plans are in the works to offer these connection opportunities within our system and within our communities. Through connection, love, and hope, everything is possible.

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