TDOR: Sharing Responsibility for Prejudice

A photograph of a lit candle against a black background. Overlaid on the image is the transgender symbol, and text reading Twelfth Annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance. In the bottom left corner reads

Today is the 12th Annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day that has been set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is recognized in over 180 cities Worldwide, many holding vigils to honor and mourn those senselessly taken from us this past year.

Please click here to find the location nearest you.

I am no authority on transgender issues, but I am deeply saddened that this kind of prejudice exists. The kind of hatred that denies happiness, and in many cases life to someone’s child, and friend.

In total, the preliminary results show 487 reports of murdered trans people in 39 countries since January 2008.*

Sadly, this year we have nearly 180 (179 at the time of this post) reported murders of trans people. That’s reported murders, the true numbers are unfortunately much higher; even worse these trends are expected to carry on well over the next 365 days.

I am no authority on trans issues but I am fortunate enough to call many transgender and transsexual people friends, and I cannot imagine the heartache of losing a single one of them, or the multiplied anger fueled by the ignorant reasoning behind them being taken. Therefore, if I have an opportunity to bring their issues to the proper light—I will do so.

To me it’s not enough to read off these names, and it’s not enough to remember how or why their lives were taken. Something has got to be done to prevent these saddening losses in the future, and everyone has to share in the responsibility as transphobia and transphobic violence affects our society immensely.

Yet, we know, even these high numbers are only a fraction of the real figures; the truth is much worse.*

We must first educate ourselves, and move towards an appropriate awareness. We must recognize that trans issues, much like gay issues and race issues, are societal issues that affect our communities as a whole; and we simply cannot tolerate any policies or ordinances that treat another human as less than such.
 
It starts with us, all of us—any one of us. Rather you respectfully correct a coworker, family member, or friend who has made an inappropriate comment, or  you yourself stop making anti-trans jokes, or slurs. Get involved!
 
We must stop misgendering with wrong names and pronouns. We much stop treating gender like a binary and defining gender by genitals and reproductive capacity, and we cannot tolerate any denial of medical care access. Speak up, call people and organizations out when they step on human rights—get involved.
 

Photo by Scott Shifrel of nydailynews.com.

* Source: http://www.transrespect-transphobia.org/en_US/tvt-project/tmm-results/tdor2010.htm

I implore you to get involved.

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