3 ways to show your support this Transgender Day of Remembrance
The first Transgender Day of Remembrance was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998. Since then, it’s become an important annual observance that honours the memory of those whose lives have been lost through acts of transphobic violence and the remarkable resilience of trans people everywhere.
To my shame, despite this day having been observed for almost two decades, this is the first year I’ve been properly aware of it. It’s in large part thanks to the people I follow on Twitter — people like Travis Alabanza, Munroe Bergdorf, Shon Faye, Juno Dawson and lots more — many of whom pour a huge amount of time and emotional labour into vocalising their experiences, that I’ve become so much more aware over the last few years.
Despite the raised profile of trans rights in the UK, there’s still a long way to go. The press is very often hugely, purposefully inflammatory on the subject of trans rights and outspoken trans people on social media are subject daily to trolls in their droves, often under the banner of ‘fReE sPeEch.” Violence is not just physical, we need to acknowledge that.
I absolutely acknowledge that donating money and watching videos online are absolutely not the only — or even the best — ways of making a difference but, while many of us are stuck behind our laptops at work today, here are a few ways we can engage with Transgender Day of Remembrance as it happens.
1. EDUCATE yourself on how to be a better trans ally. There are so many resources out there — here are a few:
This video by trans and non-binary rights activists and the authors of the Trans Teen Survival Guide, Fox and Owl, share their tips on how to be a better ally to trans and non-binary folk.
Owl also just published this piece in Metro: ‘Trans people are being killed. Action must be taken now if we are to protect the next generation’
This piece published on Refinery29 entitled ‘As A Trans Woman Over 50, I’m Visible - When The Media Wants Me To Be’
This piece by Juno Dawson in The Pool: ‘Her Name was Naomi Hersi and she should be remembered’.
2. DONATE! Here are a few options — scroll down for a fuller list.
Stonewall exists to let all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people know they’re not alone. Their key priorities are 1) to transform institutions including workplaces, schools, healthcare providers, sports clubs and religious institutions so that they embed an accepting culture, 2) to head into communities to strengthen allyship, and 3) to campaign and lobby government to change laws that do not ensure equality for LGBT people.
This year, Stonewall ran the Come Out For Trans Equality Campaign which sought to influence reform of the Gender Recognition Act. The consultation is now closed, but you can sign up to emails on how to campaign for trans rights here here and donate to Stonewall here.
Gendered Intelligence is a not-for-profit that works with the trans community and those who impact on trans lives. They deliver trans youth programmes, support for parents and carers, professional development and trans awareness training for all sectors and educational workshops for schools, colleges, Universities and educational settings.
London LGBTQ+ Centre
The volunteers at London LGBTQ+ have been working for the past year to set up a Community Centre that’ll be a completely accessible, multi-purpose space, run by and for LGBTQ+ people as a not-for-profit. It’ll serve as a cafe, a meeting point, and a multi-generational social centre, and there’ll be an information hub with research facilities as well as clinic and therapy spaces and a garden.
3. CELEBRATE trans voices by grabbing your ticket to Transpose: The Future @ The Barbican
Transpose is a night of performances of opera, poetry, poetry, dance and electronica which shows what gender, identity and individuality might look like tomorrow. The celebration is curated by CN Lester and directed by Kate O’Donnell, two of the trans community’s leading lights.
Buy tickets here.
How are you acknowledging Trans Day of Remembrance? Let us know in the comments below!