Ahead of the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance our Transgender Community Officer Kate Hutchinson speaks about why this day is important to our community.
Tuesday November the 20th marks the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.
This Memorial Day was originally set up in 1999 by Gwendoline Ann Smith to mourn the murder of Trans woman Rita Hester. Since then it has grown to remember all of those from the Trans and non-binary community that have been murdered due to transphobia or taken their own lives because of violence, ignorance and discrimination.
This year the figure of those lost has reached around 418. The largest group within those figures being made up of trans women of colour such as 36-year-old Naomi Hersi murdered in a London hotel room earlier this year.
Recent times have seen a worrying trend worldwide. Rising transphobic hate crime, and certain nations such as the United States taking backward steps in trans equality, attempting to ban trans people from serving in their country’s military and even taking steps to re define gender to erase trans identities legally.
In the UK we have had our own struggles. When the government announced that they wanted to reform the Gender Recognition act to help simplify a currently complex and demeaning process. A process that enables trans people to attain a birth certificate that matches their identity. It was met with opposition by a small but vocal anti trans lobby.
This lobby while claiming to have their voices silenced managed to run a national anti-trans billboard campaign as well as publishing a hateful £45,000 advert in a national newspaper. Supported by other parts of UK media they have waged a vile campaign not just focused on stopping reform of legislation but stating that they would like the gender recognition act scrapped completely, the Equality Act 2010 changed, stripping rights from the trans community.
It is in times like these that activism is so so vital and important. Activism has always been a key to progress of our rights. From Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson to those in the community today campaigning for change. Activism changes the world. Be that positive change!
Any community engaged in activism need allies, please stand up and be those allies to the trans community.
Every person on this planet is unique, we all have a difference. Our differences should be celebrated. We should be united in embracing all our differences as well as our similarities. Difference should never be used as a tool to discriminate and cause harm.
Pride Cymru remain committed to stand and campaign for the rights of our trans and non-binary family members. To fight that tide of ignorance and hate and push forward to try to achieve equality and improve their rights.
Please at some point on Tuesday 20th November take a moment of silence to remember the lost and think of hope for the future.
Pride Cymru will be talking at many events on this Transgender Day of Remembrance. Check out our Facebook page for details.