Irish queer community and activists mark Trans Day of Remembrance

Last Saturday, November 20, marked Trans Day of Remembrance, a day dedicated to our Trans brothers and sisters who have lost their lives too soon.

Image of a protest marking Trans day of remembrance 2021
Image: Trans & Intersex Pride Dublin via Twitter

“Today we mourn for the dead but fight like hell for the living.”

Trans Day of Remembrance 2021 garnered much-needed support across the country, with Abortion Rights Campaign, SWAI (Sex Workers Alliance Ireland), Trans & Intersex Pride Dublin all taking a stand for Trans equality.

In solidarity with the Trans Writers Union, on Trans Day of Remembrance, the Abortion Rights Campaign (ARC) pledged to join their boycott of the Irish Times, stating that “Transphobia has no place in paper of record“.

“The Trans Writers’ Union boycott came about as a result of the paper sharing uncritical articles on conversion therapy, a practice that has been widely condemned as torture by health professionals, human rights organisations and organisations that support torture victims,” said ARC spokesperson Helen Stonehouse.

“Trans rights and reproductive rights are inherently linked struggles. We stand with our trans siblings in their fight for bodily autonomy and we wholeheartedly support their campaign”.

To mark the day, Sex Workers Alliance Ireland (SWAI) released their own statement, calling for the decriminalisation of sex work and stating that “Any alternative is putting the health and safety of Trans people at risk.”

SWAI board member, Aoife Bloom, said, “Today, on Trans Day of Remembrance 2021 we demand that society acknowledges how the majority of Trans people who were killed in 2021 were Trans sex workers.

“2021 is a record-breaking year for violence against Trans people. 375 gender diverse people were murdered and the majority of those murdered were Black and migrant. Over half of those murdered were sex workers. When we talk about transphobic violence and Trans Day of Remembrance we’re usually talking about Trans sex workers of colour.”

Saturday also saw a protest by Trans & Intersex Pride Dublin at the Spire in Dublin city centre as a mark of solidarity.

“Today we mourn for the dead but fight like hell for the living,” they wrote on Twitter. “The trans people killed due to transphobic violence can never have justice so long as we still live under the capitalist system that exploits!”

Lilith Ferreyra-Carroll, one of Ireland’s leading Trans activists, was unable to attend the Trans Day of Remembrance ceremony in the Dublin Unitarian church due to personal commitments, but yesterday, November 21, she released the moving words she had intended on sharing with the community.

After paying tribute to a personal friend and Trans sister who lost her life to suicide, Rose Wong, Lilith went on to say, “Those here today are the ones still standing, the ones who’ve witnessed our more sensitive, feeling and caring siblings struggle and fall as we march on.

“We think of the souls who could not face the difficult and gut-wrenching choices we all made to be here, to live as who we are. Our best tribute can only be to work together to make things better for those who come after so that more of us can live our truth free from the burdens of carrying the memories of those that couldn’t.”

© 2021 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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