The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) takes place every year on 20 November all around the world. It was first established to honor trans people murdered in transphobia-motivated crimes, and is now the highlight of Transgender Awareness Week. Trans people and their allies come together for candlelight vigils, tributes to the dead, including reading the names of every person who has died during the year.
It is about paying tribute, mourning the dead, but also remembering that transphobia kills. It kills through crime and murder, but also through the suicides of our sisters, brothers and siblings. Precariousness kills. Lack of recognition kills. The impossibility of accessing medical transition kills. Misgendering kills. Deadnaming kills. Denying an umpteenth home to a person because they are trans kills. The impossibility of access to healthcare kills. Ordinary transphobia kills. And that should not be forgotten.
Hatred of trans people is more than present in our societies. It slowly kills our siblings and takes lives through atrocious crimes fuelled by ordinary transphobia. So, for all the trans people who have disappeared, we continue fighting. And remembering them. All those lives, one by one, that are taken away from the future.
The hatred of transphobes and society won’t erase us. We are there. We are trans. We are fighting for our lives, to survive and live every day. We are proud. But we mourn our dead.
This day is about remembering those who are no longer there, and helping those who are still there. Talking about what’s going on. Information is important. And trans lives are too often ignored by the media, and society in general. The dramas of our lives and deaths are not isolated events. They are the result of a system that isolates us and points the finger at us, mistreats us and murders us.
And the most vulnerable among us are those who receive the most hatred and violence. Trans women. People of color. Poor people. HIV-positive people. All the persons that society hates and is trying to eliminate.
Educate yourself. Support us. Become an active ally of trans people. Don’t just read this article. Fight the transphobia in you. Realize that the transphobia that feeds hate crimes is present in all of us every day.
This year’s deaths remind us once again of the danger of being yourself.
Take care of yourself, and if you know someone who is trans, take care of them.
G-O. Levêque, Master Student of Gender Studies, University of Bordeaux, France