If you haven’t already heard, today was the Trans Day of Remembrance, a day to honour those lost to transphobic violence and bullying. There have been a number of strong trans people who have shared their voices on social media — a number of personal essays posted to Facebook today were just astounding — and I decided to round up a few stories from around the web in honour of today.
First off, here’s an essay on The Huffington Post from Gwendolyn Ann Smith, the founder of Trans Day of Remembrance. In her piece, she looks back on the murder of Rita Hester, which was the catalyst for the day. Smith makes a lot of excellent points about the roots of anti-trans violence and how it can affect anyone who doesn’t adhere strictly to stereotypical gender roles.
Next, there’s this piece from The Advocate that details the lives of some of those lost this year to anti-trans violence. It’s a pretty harrowing reminder of not only how many people we lost, but the value of their lives.
There is a small bit of good news in all of this: according to Queerty, the good people at Equality House repainted their home today to match the colours of the trans pride flag. Aaron Jackson, one of the people behind the project, said, “I wanted the Equality House to play a role in bringing public awareness to this issue and to let those in the trans community know that we care. It is my belief that if you are an ally for the trans community, it is imperative that you be open and vocal about it. Acceptance and inclusion comes from education."
Yes, society has come a long way from what it used to be, but we still have a hell of a lot further to go. There’s always going to be hatred, stupidity and negativity, but the least we can do is try not to personally empower it.