Transgender Day of Remembrance

The 13th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) occured on November 20th this year.  This event is meant to remember those that have been killed because of transgender hate based violence.  The goal of the day is to raise awareness of the hate crime, allow a space for public mourning of losses, and a time for family and allies to unite against hate.  The quote by William Shakespeare in the header of the website explains this pain more eloquently:

“My grief lies all within, and these external manners of lament are merely shadows to the unseen grief that swells with silence in the tortured soul”

Here the website has a list of people killed this year due to transgendered hate crime.  This year, the first woman on the list, Idania Roberta Sevilla Raudales, from Honduras, was one of six transgendered women killed in Honduras in 60 days (PinkNews).  Many of the other women were tortured, stoned, and set on fire.  Another article tells the story as a result of political unrest following a coup d’etat in Honduras.

“In the majority of the cases, there have been no investigation or prosecution of the crimes. Since the coup, all Hondurans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, have been subjected to increased violence and have received little protection from authorities”

Although Honduras has had recent increases of transgender hate crime, other people killed were from Brazil, Indonesia, France, proving that fear of transgender people is global.  Journalist Rebecca Juro, of the Huffington Post, voices her disappointment that TDoR would turn out differently this year.  She sees all these untold stories and knows that the victims may never be identified, cases will never be solved, and deaths all over the world will continue to increase.  What she hopes for is government intervention and hope that the leaders in Washington D.C. will finally support our civil rights as citizens of the United States.  While she lashes out on the government as the only perpetuators of hate, the most important point she makes is her final point.  This one is not expressed through rhetoric of hate, but of respect.  She hopes that laws will enforce that everyone is treated with respect and that everyone has equal opportunity to obtain a job or rent an apartment.

Instead of turning a blind eye while hate crime persists we must take actions.  We cannot let the only stories told, be the ones in Baltimore or Maryland, but let the world know that this is a global battle for acceptance.  According to the Human Rights Campaign it is still legal to fire someone because they are transgender in 35 states.  By pressing our government officials to pass Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) we can send a message to the rest of the world that discrimination and hate crime is not acceptable.  We cannot let the number of deaths increase every year, but hope that TDoR becomes a way to commemorate the deaths of the past.

“It [Transgender Day of Remembrance] will become a day to remember a far gone time when discrimination and transphobia led to tragic acts of violence, and that through the commitment of individuals and organizations to changing hearts and minds, transgender people have been overwhelmingly embraced and accepted throughout the world” – GLAAD

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