This blog post has been written by Patricia, a member of a:gender. It was originally published in 2019.
November 20th Is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day where people across the world remember trans men and trans women killed. It is a day to reflect and think about victims of hate crime. Often in horrific circumstances. Think about Naomi Hersi, found stabbed to death in a hotel room in West London. Or Islan Nettles, beaten to death in the street. Maybe the case of Chucha Reyes, whose decapitated head was placed in a refrigerator left dumped in front of the City Hall. Or the body of Maya Akbar, which was found, riddled with bullets on a river bank. As a proud trans woman, I would ask for your support for me and my community, however, if you are reading these words, chances are that you probably already support trans rights. I will ask you to spare a few moments of your time to think and reflect on the lives of fellow human beings murdered. People executed for whom they are. Sons, daughters, lovers, strangers, all human, none of whom deserved the death that they met.
Before I changed my gender presentation, I would not give a second thought about when and where I went. This year, whilst going about my job I was sexually harassed in Hyde Park walking back from MOD Main Building, a friend of mine was harassed in the middle of Birmingham on their way to meet me and another friend at the DWP offices. I did not meet my maker, in a premature and violent death and neither did my friend, but neither of us deserved to be scared, violated, humiliated by someone else.
This blog is not being written to try and influence anybody’s mind or opinion on transgender issues. It is to invite any allies (cis- or trans- gender) to give a little thought to those who have lost their lives as a result of a transphobic hate crime. I invite you to take a few moments of quiet reflection at 12:00 on 20 November. This is the time of remembrance for victims of transphobic hate crime. If you read this after this time, then any quiet reflection upon finishing this article is suitable, should you wish.
a:gender are the staff network that supports all trans and intersex staff across Government. To contact them, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.