Gwendolyn Ann Smith is a transgender woman who founded Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to memorialise people who have been killed as a result of anti-transgender prejudice.
In 1992, Smith lobbied America Online, getting the company to change its policies and allow discussions on gender issues on their service. A year later, she created the Transgender Community Forum, which became a safe community for thousands of transgender people worldwide.
Smith then began to provide web management for many within the community, creating sites for the Southern Comfort Conference, for transgender photographer Loren Cameron, and many others, pioneering the early transgender web. She is still involved on transgender internet projects, and currently serves as the managing editor for Genderfork.
In 1998, Smith founded the Remembering Our Dead project which honours those who have been murdered due to anti-transgender violence. In 1999, she founded the Transgender Day of Remembrance in memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was murdered a year earlier. TDOR is now recognised in hundreds of locations worldwide.
Smith writes a column on transgender issues and ideas for the Bay Area Reporter in San Francisco, California. Her column, Transmissions, has been running biweekly since 2000. Her essay, “We’re all somebody’s freak,” is featured in the book Gender Outlaws, edited by S. Bear Bergman and Kate Bornstein.
In July of 2017, a biography on Gwen titled Trans / Active: A Biography of Gwendolyn Ann Smith, was released.