Transgender Day of RemembrancePosted on 21-11-2017 by Maria Hughes
For many Trans people the year is bookended by 2 significant events. In March, we celebrate the lives and achievements of Trans people through Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV). This is a joyous day and rightly so, and we should never be afraid to celebrate our lives.
Then, in November, we have a much more sombre and contemplative event called Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR).
What is TDoR?
Well, simply put, TDoR is a day to remember those who have lost their life because of who they are, and to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the global transgender community.
In the UK, we are relatively safe from being the victim of a violent crime; the Home Office published statistics in October showing 80,393 Hate Crime offences covering 2016/17. Of this, around about 2% (1248) were recorded under the characteristic of transgender. However, there has been a year on year increase since the 2011.
Some people may look are these statistics and suggest that our suffering is not that great – just over 1200 offences – when compared to racially related offences that make up 78% (62,686) of the figures, but this shouldn’t be about ‘weighing numbers’ as if hate crimes are some sort of competition to determine who ‘suffers’ the most. Instead, we need to closely look at this and understand that each statistic is a human being who has been living their life, laughing, loving, crying even, just doing the things we all do, and that many will take for granted.
Yet, if we are here we are talking about crime, we must spend a second considering the non-reported incidents; the “low-level” abuse that many of us experience day in, day out? Abuse like that can relentlessly chip away at one’s inner-self, chipping away at your identity, chipping away even the most thickest of skin, and it does, it really does.
TDoR makes me think about how easy it can be to slip from safety to fear, to have your life blighted and turned upside down not just by an isolated incident of violence but through sustained, every day ignorance and abuse.
I started by saying this is a somber day, and we should reflect and take time to remember. But, we also need to carry on living our lives, laughing, loving and crying sometimes too, not just for ourselves but for all those who have suffered and died.
That is the living memorial we should build, for all of us.