It can be hard to know what to say regarding days like this. It seems that with every year that passes, things only seem to become more difficult for the transgender community, whether this be because of changes in government legislation or because of societal pressures.
During my research into Trans Day of Remembrance, I came across a government document from 2018 that offered up some disheartening statistics. It stated that 41% of transgender people responding to a Stonewall survey said they had experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity within the previous 12 months. It further went on the say that in the government's national LGBT survey, 67% of transgender respondents said that they avoided being open about their gender identity for fear of a negative reaction from others.
And this is nothing compared to the reason that we have Trans Day of Remembrance in the first place. In the last year alone, TMM (Trans Murder Monitoring) found that 375 trans and gender-diverse people were murdered, making 2021 the deadliest year for our community. It has been especially deadly for trans women and trans feminine people, who make up 96% of those killed. And of the 53 people killed in the United States, 89% of those were people of colour. In total, between the years of 2008 and 2021, 4042 trans and gender-diverse people have been killed. These numbers are shocking.
Here is a full list of the names of the people that our community have lost in this past year.
But we must have hope that there are better things coming for us on the horizon. I've seen an outpouring of support from not only my fellow students here at UEA, but staff too, and that fills me with an immense joy. It only takes a small gesture to show support and I highly encourage us to continue to support each other. It's important, especially on Trans Day of Remembrance, that we take the time to be good to each other. The more positivity we can surround the transgender community with, the better the life experience that we can provide.
If you do nothing else, make sure you uplift the voices of the transgender people that you know.
Use your privilege to support them.
And remember the reason that we have this day in the first place.
With love and support always,
Dean J. Smith [he/him], LGBT+ Part Time Student Union Officer (Trans & Non-Binary)