Every year, many transgender people around the world face discrimination based on their gender identity. Around one-third of transgender youth have attempted suicide, over half of transgender youth have been physically attacked, and a vast majority feel unsafe unsafe in school. For some, they aren’t just prone to employment discrimination or verbal harassment — they become the target of brutal hate crimes.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance aims to memorialize those who were killed because of hatred against or prejudice toward transgender people. The event was started in honor of Rita Hester, after her murder on November 28th, 1998. Oftentimes, deaths based on anti-transgender hatred are ignored, even though more than one person has died each month, for the last decade, because of anti-transgender hatred.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance raises awareness about hate crimes against transgender people, mourns and honors the lives of transgender people who were victims of hate crimes, and expresses respect for transgender people as a whole.
The day isn’t just about transgender people standing up for other transgender people. It’s vital that allies and friends of transgender people come to events and show their support for the transgender community. Everyone, regardless of gender identity, should be willing to stand up against hatred and violence based on prejudices.
There are events all over the world to recognize Transgender Day of Remembrance — the event is technically on Saturday, November 20th, but some of the local events are on a different day. Even if you can’t make an event, take a few moments to survey the long list of people who were recently killed because of their gender identity. It’s a harrowing reminder of how much work still needs to be done.
Violence against transgender people is, unfortunately, alive and well. Until this disturbing trend turns around, it’s important to raise awareness about how many transgender people are facing prejudice and violence each day. And that’s exactly the vision behind the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
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