Helen Goodson discusses Transgender Day of Remembrance

Saturday 20 November is Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Helen Goodson, Peer Support Worker at the Gender Identity Clinic and Chair of the Lived Experience staff network group, has written this blog discussing how important the day is.

Trans Day of Remembrance or TDoR is an annual event to remember the trans people lost to violence. This is a way for the community to come together and remember those we have lost in the last year around the world. We started to commemorate the loss of our community in 1999 after the death of Rita Hester in 1998, and from this simple act of commemoration for one-woman, TDoR has gone on to be an annual event observed around the world on 20 November.

Since 2009 there have been more than 3600 people who have had their lives taken from them that we know about. That’s at least 3600 brothers, sisters, mums, dads, or someone’s significant person who have had their potential taken from them. Some of these people have already faced rejection by their own families.

You may never question your own gender and that’s great, but for trans people, we know that our gender assigned at birth doesn’t match who we really are, we all want to live our authentic lives cis or trans but for trans people we do it in a world that is increasingly hostile not because we choose to but because we have to, to be true to ourselves.

All too often in parts of this little planet we call home, Trans people are living in abject fear, where to simply be yourself is met with hostility and in some cases death.

Some reports show that in the last year there have been well over 300 people who have lost their lives to violence. Last year in 2020 there were 350 people and the year before 330 people. These are the people we know about; however, many go unreported or misgendered in death. Therefore, we come together each year on 20 November to remember those we have lost and show that our lives matter, we are human too.

On Trans Day of Remembrance – 20 November at some point during your day, pause, spend a minute just reflecting on those lives lost to violence. If you want to learn a little more about the people, we have lost then head to www.glaad.org/tdor or www.tgeu.org

A warning before you read the above sites: Reading the list of names may be upsetting.