Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. Since January 2008, the murders of 1083 trans people have been reported. This year alone, 265 people were killed, just because they were trans. These are their names.
Thousands more trans people face violence, physical, verbal and societal violence every day. Some may end up taking their own lives living in an environment as hostile as this.
I am not personally affected by this, being lucky enough to be cis. This does not stop me being outraged and appalled by a culture which allows this violence to happen and continue to happen. I look at all those names of futures stolen away and I am furious. I want it to stop.
I do what I can. I make sure I am aware of my own privilege and make every effort to keep it in check. I call out hate speech where I see it, even when it comes from those who are nominally on my own side. I strive to be a better ally to trans people.
I want this culture of violence towards trans people overturned. I want to build a world where we do not need a day to commemorate the dead, but instead one to celebrate the gains we have made.
Today is not that day. It is a day for reflection, for commemoration. It is a day where we resolve to fight.
3 thoughts on “Marking Trans Day of Remembrance”
I appreciate your concern for trans* people, on TDoR and on other days. But this sentence isn’t true. Many of them were killed for working on the street. Many were killed because they were Black or Latina. Many were killed because they were specifically trans* women. The single most common form of murder was perpetrated against trans* people who were all three.
Transphobia/cissexism almost certainly exaggerated all of those things, and caused the number to be higher than it would be otherwise. It increases rates of homelessness, gave fewer life options and makes people more vulnerable to oppressive structures. But they weren’t just killed because they were trans*.
TDoR is often marked by the appropriation of the murders of Black and Latina trans* women who work on the streets by trans* men and other trans* people not targeted with transmisogyny, by white trans* people and by trans* people with secure homes and jobs.
I don’t think it’s particularly up to cis people to challenge that act of appropration, but it is a responsibility of cis people to not perpetuate it. There’s an excellent article by Monica Maldonado, a trans* woman of colour, on the subject, and I also wrote something on it myself (I’m a white transsexual woman).
So to be an improved ally to trans* people, you can highlight not “just” transphobia/cissexism but also the intersectional forms of hatred against trans* people in particular situations. 🙂
Thank you for this, thank you so much.
Hi Stavvers … I love almost everything you write and I really appreciate the fact you have made this post …. but this sentence jars: “I am not personally affected by this, being lucky enough to be cis.”
I understand what you are saying in context … that you are lucky not to face hate from others because of your gender identity. But I think you’d be the first to agree that the wording is unfortunate if you try substituting “white’, “heterosexual” or “a man” for “cis”. Cisgenderism runs so deep in our society that most (including probably most trans people) are barely aware how the language reinforces it constantly.
I am lucky enough to be trans 🙂
Ps. You might find the work of Gavi Ansara illuminating if you have not come across him before http://ansaraonline.com/publications