A Message for Transgender Day of Remembrance 2016
I wanted to write something really inspiring and positive today to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance.
But as I began typing the words that swirled around my head were these –
Punched, killed, pummelled, asphyxiated, kicked, shot, bludgeoned, smothered, kicked, bruised, beaten, thrown, stabbed, destroyed, cut, murdered, choked, lacerated, destroyed, burnt, stoned, broken, bloodied, strangled, brutalised, trauma, suffocated, immolated, and drowned.
These are all words associated with the 295 known Trans people murdered during the course of the last year leading up to Transgender Day of Remembrance today.
They’re not positive words; they break my heart every time I read them, over and over. Year and year after year, again and again and again, when does it stop?
These Trans people who were killed because of who they are. Murdered, because they wanted to live their truth, a truth that most people take for granted. They died because of intolerance, they died due to lack of acceptance, and they died because others thought they had a right to do this to a person just because they were different.
I’m one of those Trans people, I’m fortunate I live here in the UK, we’re not routinely killed like in some other countries. I’m also deeply conscious that I’m white and that privilege alone affords me a degree of safety not afforded to Trans POC who make up the largest part of the roll of the dead.
There will be more deaths we are unaware of, Trans people who weren’t recorded as Transgender because their gender identity was ignored. Trans people who hadn’t came out to the world yet and took their identity to the grave with them, to afraid to yet live for whom they were.
Of course there are the Trans people who committed suicide; they’re not part of these statistics. We don’t know how many of them there are, but we know a third Trans adults and half of young Trans adults attempt suicide at least once.
The primary reason these deaths occur is lack of awareness. Lack of awareness leads to indifference at best and fear at worst.
So going forward it’s important we maintain our resolve and continue the excellent work many of us are involved in to push forward equality for Trans people in every area of civic life.
So I wanted to end with a positive because I felt that was really important.
You can kill us, you can murder us, but you will never silence us, our voice will always rise again to be heard because we are you and you are us, we are one there is no other