Transgender Day of Remembrance
by Loftin Wilson
On November 20th, 2013, as night falls, people all over the world will gather by candlelight and read a list of names. The people on this list lived all over the world, from Istanbul to Brazil to Florida to Wisconsin. They were of all ages, some as young as thirteen. Their lives were all very different, but they are all on this list for one reason -- sometime during the last year, each of them lost their life because of anti-transgender hate violence.
People who are transgender -- people whose gender identity or gender presentation is different from or more complex than the sex they were assigned at birth -- live all over the world, in every culture and every country. We exist in every community and every walk of life. And even though data about the lives of transgender people is consistently under- and mis-reported, it is clear that people who are transgender or gender-nonconforming (and people who are perceived to be) experience violence at disproportionate, disturbing rates. One recent analysis concluded that “the majority of transgender people will experience violence in their lifetimes, and that risk for violence starts at an early age.”