Retelling racialized violence, remaking white innocence: The politics of interlocking oppressions in transgender day of remembrance

Special Issue Article


Transgender Day of Remembrance has become a significant political event among those resisting violence against gender-variant persons. Commemorated in more than 250 locations worldwide, this day honors individuals who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. However, by focusing on transphobia as the definitive cause of violence, this ritual potentially obscures the ways in which hierarchies of race, class, and sexuality constitute such acts. Taking the Transgender Day of Remembrance/Remembering Our Dead project as a case study for considering the politics of memorialization, as well as tracing the narrative history of the Fred F. C. Martinez murder case in Colorado, the author argues that deracialized accounts of violence produce seemingly innocent White witnesses who can consume these spectacles of domination without confronting their own complicity in such acts. The author suggests that remembrance practices require critical rethinking if we are to confront violence in more effective ways.

Key words

gender identity racism transphobia memorialization narrative activism queer politics 

Copyright information

© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AHRC Research Centre for Law, Gender & Sexuality, Kent Law School, Eliot CollegeUniversity of KentCanterburyUK

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