Vigils will be held across the globe to remember individuals that have lost their lives due to transphobic attacks.
First started in 1998 after the murder of a Massachusetts trans woman Rita Hester, the event is now observed in more than 185 cities, in 20 countries worldwide. Activists are staging events to commemorate those trans people who have been senselessly murdered.
Figures that show reported violence towards trans and gender variant people is still alarmingly high. According to the Transgender Day of Remembrance website, 69 people were killed in anti-transgender attacks in 2013 alone. These numbers do not include those who took their owns lives as a result of bullying and verbal abuse. Even more worryingly,there is no way to know accurate numbers, as murders of transgender people often go unreported. This means that the number of transphobic murders annually is likely to be much higher.
At home in Ireland, according to TENI’s Speaking From The Margins report, 20% of trans people reported experiencing domestic abuse, 16% said they had been hit or beaten up, 12% had been sexually assaulted and 6% had been raped as a direct result of their trans identity.
“Trans people are becoming increasingly visible and vocal, and we are now seeing positive depictions of our diverse community in the media. Nonetheless, many trans individuals still face violence and discrimination. From low level everyday harassment to much more serious crimes, and this needs to end,” said TENI Chief Executive Broden Giambrone.
TENI has been working tirelessly to tackle transphobia in Ireland. Since 2013, it has been running the Stop Transphobia and Discrimination (STAD) campaign. This campaign documents hate crimes and incidents against trans people. Since January 2014, TENI has received 41 reports of violence, harassment, abuse and discrimination against trans people in Ireland.
“We believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. Many individuals will not report these crimes of incidents at all. In STAD we found that 56% did not report the incident to the Gardaí. Not only does this violence need to end but we need to ensure that if it happens, that trans people are supported to report these crimes.”
A Trans Day of Remembrance Ceremony will take place in Dublin on Saturday November 22 at 8pm at the Unitarian Church, to commemorate the lives injured and lost due to transphobia through candle lighting, speeches and songs.
“It is important for us to remember those of our community who have suffered and that even in Ireland today, society still does not treat trans people with respect and dignity. In its 9th year, the remembrance ceremony provides an opportunity for us to reflect and honour those who have been lost to us,” said TENI Chairperson Sara R. Phillips.
“We must strive to celebrate the positives. Trans people no longer live in the shadows, we are making progress toward equality but we must never forget, never forget the violence, disrespect and inequality that trans people still suffer today worldwide,” concluded Phillips.
Trans Day of Remembrance Ceremony:
Date: Saturday 22nd November
Location: Unitarian Church, 112 St. Stephens Green, Dublin. Map is available here.
The ceremony is organised by Sara Phillips, Lynda Sheridan and TENI. Supported by Running Amach, the Unitarian Church and the Lord Mayor’s Office.
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