As every year for the last 16 years, November 20th is the International Trans* Day of Remembrance. Around the world, we remember those who died as a result of violence that often intersects transphobia, poverty, racism and social and institutional indifference with the lives and deaths of trans* people. The need for a special day of remembrance is a reminder not only that trans* people exist in a world where violence can kill and does kill us, but where such violence is perpetuated in the continuity of injustice and oblivion.
The Transgender Europe Trans Murder Monitoring Project reports that over the past 12 months, 226 people were killed, and a total of 1,612 since the beginning of reporting were murdered in 62 countries. These numbers are essential to record the horror, but also to counteract it: those numbers call us to remember that each of the deaths we mourn put an end to a life whose existence we celebrate. On behalf of those lives it is essential to remember today the everyday struggle to survive on the margins of our societies and many times in the margins of our own communities: trans people who are incarcerated, homeless, in hospices, trans* sex workers, migrants and trans* people living with HIV.
Besides the individual acts of violence which cut short the lives of many trans* people, today we should not forget those other forms of structural violence that restrict the freedom, dignity, self-determination and opportunities for trans* people in countries around the world – including lack of access to education, health, employment and housing, as well as discrimination based on gender identity, gender expression and bodily diversity. It is necessary to remember that today, like every day, many trans* people are forced to pay outrageous prices to access the human right of legal recognition of their gender identity, including requirements such as pathologization of their existence and the nullification of their reproductive capacity.
From GATE we accompany all those who gather on this day of remembrance, as we renew our call to fight for a world without violence against trans* people, every day.
Mauro Cabral & Justus Eisfeld, Co-Directors
GATE – Global Action for Trans* Equality