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UNR Med and Renown Health Recognize Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 18, 2022

Renown and UNR School of Medicine Logo

Medical Students Recognize Transgender Lives Lost to Violence, Address Inequities in Health

The month of November includes Transgender Awareness Week, which concludes with Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), on Sunday, November 20, a day for people to come together to recognize the many transgender lives lost to violence over the last year. Transgender people remain one of the most underserved groups of people across several domains, including health care.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance and Resilience memorializes people who have passed due to transphobic violence. The Transgender community is an umbrella term used by people who do not identify with the gender associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. Not everyone identifies with the term transgender, and there are many self-identifier terms for people who do not identify with their assigned sex at birth (e.g., woman, man, trans, non-binary, gender nonconforming, gender fluid, gender queer, and more).

Transgender Day of Remembrance is held in November to honor Rita Hester, whose murder on Nov. 28, 1998, launched the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a San Francisco vigil the following year. The event provides a forum for transgender communities and allies to raise awareness of the threat of violence faced by gender variant people and the persistence of prejudice felt by the transgender community. Communities organize events and activities including town hall style "teach-ins," photography and poetry exhibits and candlelit vigils. These activities make anti-transgender violence visible to stakeholders like police, the media, and elected officials. In 2010, TDoR was observed in over 185 cities throughout more than 20 countries.

Here in Reno, the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med) hosts Diversity Dialogues, a series hosted by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. This month, the Medical Student Pride Alliance of UNR Med honored transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence, that included a medical student-led discussion regarding ways to help raise visibility and awareness for transgender people and the issues faced by the community. Diversity Dialogues is an open discussion of diversity and inclusion issues and the diversity initiatives at UNR Med.

The UNR Med Diversity Dialogues included a reading of the names of those who died from October 1st of the former year to September 30th of the current year, and education on transgender and gender non-conforming people. Medical students recommend ways that healthcare providers can help support the community including:

  • Being open to feedback, criticism, and new information
  • Contributing to a LGBTQ+ safe space by using pronoun pins, flags, inclusive language
  • Registering your practice on Nevada Gender Affirming Healthcare Project (NGAHP), GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality, Outcare Health, & other provider lists
  • Reading new research in academic journals and stay up to date with guidelines including World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) Version 8 and attending CME courses on LGBTQ+ Care.

The general public can support the community by:

  • Standing up for trans people in your life, in the media, and amongst your peers, and be an active, proud ally to the community
  • Respecting people’s identities and fluidity and learn to use different pronouns
  • Consuming trans-friendly and LGBTQ+ friendly media (tv shows, movies, music, podcasts)
  • Following trans people on social media, specifically activists/educators, to learn from them

This month, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, released “An Epidemic of Violence: Fatal Violence Against Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People in the United States in 2022” a report honoring the lives of at least 32 transgender and gender non-conforming people killed in 2022 and shining a light on data that HRC has continued to collect on the epidemic of violence.

HRC has officially recorded at least 300 violent deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people, including 32 in 2022 alone, since the organization began tracking this violence ten years ago. Overall, transgender and gender non-conforming victims of violence are overwhelmingly Black, under 35, and killed with a firearm. The highest known single-year total of fatal deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people was in 2021, when at least 57 trans & gender non-conforming people were violently killed. Worse, these disturbing numbers likely underreport the deadly violence targeting transgender and gender non-confirming people, who may not be properly identified as transgender or gender non-conforming by police, media or other sources.

In 2022, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation recognized Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nev. as the first and only hospital in Nevada at the highest level of support as “LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Leader.” The Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) is the nation’s foremost benchmarking survey of healthcare facilities on policies and practices dedicated to the equitable treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients, visitors and employees. For more on LBGTQ+ care and providers at Renown, visit renown.org/diversity/lgbtq-at-renown/.

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (UNR Med), Nevada’s first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Since 1969, UNR Med has trained more than 3,900 students, residents and fellows. UNR Med continues to improve the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion. For more information, visit med.unr.edu.

Renown Health is Nevada's largest, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe, and northeast California. With a diverse workforce of more than 7,000 employees, Renown has fostered a longstanding culture of excellence, determination, and innovation. The organization comprises a trauma center, two acute care hospitals, a children's hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, a medical group and urgent care network, and the locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health.

Media Contacts

UNR Med 

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E: communications@unr.edu


Renown Public Relations

M: 775-691-7308

E: news@renown.org