Remember, Remember the 20th of November – a Reflection on Transgender Day of Remembrance
In this current social climate people are often quick to say they support something but generally lack the actions to support their claims.
It is not always enough to show a half-hearted level of support, just so people don’t label you as transphobic/homophobic/racist/sexist etc. It is important to show minority communities that they are heard, respected and remembered by those outside their community.
On the 20th of November it is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. This annual observation honours the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. This is an opportunity to remember not just openly transgender victims but also those who are gender-variant and those perceived to be transgender.
This annual remembrance was started in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith to honour Rita Hester, a transgender woman killed in 1998. This vigil was not just for Hester, but as commemoration for all those murdered since Hester’s death.
in 2018 it was reported that more than a third of all transgender people in the UK have been victims of a hate crime in the past 12 months – but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Unsurprisingly but sadly the majority of victims do not report attacks. All members, in all communities, should feel safe and have trust in authorities and in society. It is an upsetting fact that we are in 2018, much has been said about this troubling topic but the violence continues. Stonewall is a charity which campaigns for the equality rights of lesbian, gay, bi and trans rights across Britain. In 2018 Stonewall produced figures that show 53% of young trans people aged between 18 and 24 have experienced a hate crime because of their gender identity. Nobody, especially those so young, should feel threatened by others when they are expressing their truest self.
We should all take the time to remember and honour those whose only crime was trying to be themselves, not hurting or infringing on the rights of anyone else. You do not have to be part of the LGBT+ community to show your support. Being an ally is still a strong and necessary part of this journey. Hopefully we should reach a point, in the not too distant future,where nobody is attacked or killed based on what gender they identify as.
So if you can, please remember the 20th of November.
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