On Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR), 20 November, we remember and honour trans and gender-diverse people whose lives were taken away from us.
Day after day, trans people around the world fight for our human rights and social justice. Year after year, we demand that trans people are protected from violence. We demand that our human rights are respected. We demand our right to live.
This year, the Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) reported 350 trans and gender-diverse people murdered worldwide between 1 October 2019 and 30 September 2020.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, inequalities, systemic oppression, and violence by state and non-state actors are heightened. The realities of trans communities that are hugely marginalised and underrepresented, such as Black and people of colour, sex workers, migrants, asylum seekers, refugees, Roma, people with disabilities, and those living with HIV, remain mostly unseen. Lack of access to healthcare, employment, housing, education, and justice, as well as stigmatisation and persecution, are just some of the results of the inaction of societies that do little or nothing to protect trans and gender-diverse people.
Trans activists and movements are persistently fighting to ensure that trans rights, policies, and legal measures protecting trans people are put in place. However, the lives of trans and gender-diverse people remain constantly at risk, particularly for those of us who are affected by racism, sexism, misogyny, xenophobia, ableism and anti-sex worker sentiment and discrimination. Increasing hostility from anti-trans feminist groups, exclusion from mainstream LGBT groups, and the rise of political networks mobilising anti-gender movements severely aggravate these risks.
November is a particularly painful month for trans people. Trans Day of Remembrance reminds us of how normative and oppressive systems strive to erase us, to eradicate our existence. This date reminds us that violence towards one of us is violence towards all of us. It reminds us of the urgency and importance of building more self-aware, resilient, and connected trans movements. It is not enough that we are in one another’s thoughts; we have to be in one another’s actions. We will not let anyone stop us from fighting for our dignity, caring for our communities, and celebrating our lives. To our trans siblings around the world, you are not alone. We are in this together.
On Trans Day of Remembrance, we call on you to join our fight. Do not only share the horrific statistics on murders of trans people worldwide. Make sure that the lives of trans people who are still alive are part of your fight. Amplify trans voices while we live. Educate others about trans rights while we live. Donate to organisations focusing on marginalised and underrepresented trans communities. Commit to concrete actions and confront the pervasive structural and cistemic oppression that keeps us deprived of our basic rights. Let us end all forms of violence and discrimination against trans and gender-diverse people together.