November 13th-19th is Trans Awareness Week, culminating in Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on 20th November. TDOR is an annual observance that honours the memory of trans people whose lives have been lost due to transphobic violence.
We at Touchstone stand in solidarity with our trans, non-binary and gender-diverse communities. Bigotry, exclusion, discrimination and hate resulting ultimately in the death of fellow human beings demonstrates the ongoing need to consider the rights of trans, non-binary and gender-diverse people and communities as fundamental human rights. Taking away the rights from one group of people is open season to take the rights of others. It is in this context we at Touchstone take a stand with all our diverse communities to ensure all have an inclusive and compassionate environment to exercise their social, economic, cultural, democratic and human rights.
As a member of a minority group, I know all too well the impact of hate targeted at my identity and those like me. I therefore always stand by and with all peoples, groups and communities subject to hate and bigotry. The information below highlights evidence of the rising hate and hostility towards trans, non-binary and gender-diverse people globally including information about the TDOR inspired vigil at Park Square in Leeds City Centre at 6pm on 20th November.
Touchstone’s Senior Leadership Team will be taking an opportunity to reflect and to remember those all those that have lost their lives due to hate at our next meeting.
Arfan Hanif (he/him) Touchstone CEO
Between 2019 and 2020, anti-trans hate crimes increased 16%, according to the U.K.’s Home Office. According to ILGA-Europe, this surge can be attributed to an “increase in reporting,” but it is “also influenced by increasing hostility in U.K.-wide media towards trans identities and communities.” This is true of both mainstream and social media.
2021 is set to be the deadliest year for trans and gender-diverse people since “Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide” (TvT) began collecting data, with 375 registered murders between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2021. This represents a 7% increase from the 2020 update, which was already a 6% increase from the 2019 update. Brazil remains the country that reported the majority of the murders (125), followed by Mexico (65) and the United States (53). The data shows that a total of 4042 trans and gender-diverse people reported being murdered between 1 January 2008 and 30 September 2021.
Some key stats from Stonewall’s 2018 LGBT in Britain Health Report
- Almost half of trans people (46 per cent) have thought about taking their own life in the last year.
- Two thirds of trans people (67 per cent) have experienced depression in the last year. Seven in ten non-binary people (70 per cent) have had the same experience.
References from ILGA-Europe: Annual Review | Rainbow Europe (rainbow-europe.org)
For TDOR, a vigil at Park Square in Leeds City Centre at 6pm on the 20th November will be taking place. The night will begin with talks from TransLeeds, Non-Binary Leeds, Friends of Dorothy, and ILGA World. There will then be a spot for members of the trans community to speak and share their feelings. The candlelight vigil will close with a performance from Yorkshire Trans Choir.
Facebook link for the event: Transgender Day of Remembrance | Facebook.
“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.” – Transgender Day of Remembrance cofounder Gwendolyn Ann Smith.