This article includes mentions of transphobia, transphobic violence and suicide.
Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed annually on the 20th of November to memorialise those we have lost over the last year to transphobic violence, and to show kindness and solidarity with the trans (including non-binary) community. This year is the 20th Transgender Day of Remembrance and it is still crucial to mark this date as transphobia is still rife within our society, despite public attitudes being generally more positive to LGB people.
Since January 2008, we have lost 3314 people to transphobic violence, and this is only reported deaths; it doesn’t include those whose deaths and identities have been covered up, closeted trans people, or those lost to suicide. Over the last year alone, 331 people have been lost to transphobia. Now, more than ever, allies need to stand with the trans community and actively fight transphobic rhetoric and violence.
Trans people (especially trans women, trans people of colour and trans sex workers) face unacceptable and terrifying levels of ignorance, bigotry, and violence simply for existing as trans people. As a transgender person, not a day goes by where I don’t experience some form of transphobia, be that people erasing my identity, TERFs (Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists) and transphobes harassing me online, or having transphobia shouted at me in the street. I am lucky that I haven’t experienced physical transphobic violence, but that is not something I should feel ‘lucky’ for, or be afraid of happening to me – everyone deserves to exist as themselves, free of fear and discrimination.
We cannot fight this violence without the support of cis allies, so here are some ways in which you can support trans people and reject transphobia.
1. Physically show up – come to TDoR events and protests/meetings/rallies in support of trans rights and stand with the trans community, there is always more strength in numbers.
2. Demonstrate support online – share trans people’s words and work, make posts about TDoR to show you don’t agree with transphobic violence, and report any transphobic rhetoric you see online. Don’t allow trans lives to become a debate as we are going to continue to exist regardless of any bigot’s opinion, but vocally support trans rights and fight transphobia when you see it so trans people don’t have to.
3. Stop supporting transphobes – transphobia is very frequent among famous people, so stop supporting the content of people who perpetuate transphobic rhetoric.
4. If you can afford it, financially support trans people – trans people are one of the most economically disadvantaged groups due to transphobia (and intersecting issues such as racism, sexism and xenophobia). Consume media and content made by and featuring trans people, and donate to trans charities and people – check out the hashtag ‘#transcrowdfund’ on twitter.
5. Most importantly, be kind – check in on your trans loved ones, don’t perpetuate transphobia and educate yourself on trans identities and the issues we face as a community. Trans rights are human rights and it is crucial that people stand vocally in support with trans people.
The SRC and GULGBTQ+ are running multiple events to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance on campus – there will be a flag raising at the North Flagpole at 10am, an evening event with speakers in the John Mcintyre building and a vigil in the Cloisters, and an art exhibition of local trans artists in the chapel, over the 20th and 21st.
[Chris Timmins – he/him – @_plantbot]
[Image Credit: Chris Timmins]