Each year, the commemoration of the Trans* Day of Remembrance reminds us of those who died, as victims of transphobic violence. This year is no different and, once again, we are confronted by the painful and increased numbers of trans* killings.
To this day, those whose bodies, gender identities or gender expressions challenge hegemonic norms and expectations have to face real and concrete threats of violence. This violence is aggravated where it intersects with other forms of violence and oppression, such as racism, whorephobia and ableism to name just a few. These threats have one message: our lives have no value to those that aim to destroy them. Moreover death is often not the end to violence, since our vulnerability seems to extend even beyond – for example when trans* people lie in graves under names that were not theirs, in in countries that were not their homes.
For us at GATE, Trans* Day of Remembrance signifies the renewal of our commitment to dismantle the conditions that produce and justify transphobic violence. And, because of that, it’s also a day of commitment to all trans* people who survive: all those who are pushed to the margins as a result of interconnected forms of oppression, such as racism, classism or whorephobia, all those who are excluded from their families and communities, all those excluded from education, health, housing and work; all those forced to migrate, those who are pathologized and criminalized, those who survive, today, in mental institutions, streets and prisons.
Today, more than ever, we also believe in the need to recognize the courage of those who work every day to defeat violence and transform wounds into memory, knowledge into action and and survival into life. Trans* activists around the world believe that remembrance and emancipation are the same struggle under different names.