Hero Image

Gwendolyn Ann Smith: Activist Behind Transgender Day of Remembrance

Gwendolyn Ann Smith (born 22 July, 1967,) a transgender woman, is the founder of theTransgender Day of Remembrance, an annual event honouring those who have lost their lives due to transphobia.

Smith has been an advocate for the transgender community for most of her adult life, focusing in particular on the online trans community and remembering those who have died as a result of anti-transgender violence.

Smith is a transgender activist, writer, and graphic designer. From 1993 to 1998, she ran the Transgender Community Forum on AOL, which was one of the first public online forums for transgender people. Since 2000, she has been a columnist for the Bay Area Reporter. Her column is called "Transmissions."

Smith founded a website called Remembering Our Dead, which acts as a memorial to the people who have died as a direct result of hatred and prejudice based on gender.
Today, the list is hosted on the Transgender Day of Remembrance website, which also publishes information about people who have been murdered due to anti-transgender violence. In 2012, Gwendolyn Smith wrote an article for the Huffington Post
titled, "Transgender Day of Remembrance: Why We Remember".

She began lobbying America Online in 1992, persuading the firm to modify its rules and permit conversations on gender issues on its platform. This resulted in the establishment of the Transgender Community Forum, the first open forum on a large web site, one year later. Every day, thousands of transgender persons from all around the world were able to connect because to this programme.

Smith began the Transgender Day of Remembrance in November 1999 to honour Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. Now celebrated annually on November 20, it is observed all over the United States, in over 200 cities, and in other countries too. The week leading up to the Day of Remembrance has been designated the Transgender Awareness Week.

She is still involved on transgender internet projects, serving as the managing editor for Genderfork, a "supportive community for the expression of identities across the gender spectrum."

Authored by Feba Bovas