Transgender Day of Remembrance

On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we take a moment to think about why the day's importance only grows. Amber Onver, Trans Rep for LGBT+ Society, has shared a tribute for the vigil taking place today.

A vigil is an act of remembrance, of the few transgender deceased whose deaths can be catalogued. We are not granted the same dignity in death that others have, but the caustic humiliation we endure in life. So we stand together once a year and we read the few names we could find, from wherever in the world we could salvage them. The names they bothered to report. Very often, the details are incomplete, and sometimes the names themselves are not known. We are ill reported on, and this enduring gendercide is as old as us. They are killed because they are transgender. Most of them brutally.

Many of the names are young. Many of them are sex workers. A grand many live outside of the west. Brazil, Turkey, India... these places have bitter associations for us. But we are also well aware that the list of names from Europe, from America and from England is increasing. We remember their names because someone must and because we must remember we are not far from this list.

It is at the same time an act of resistance. We mourn their names, and defy their murderers; if only in hollow symbolism. It is the one time of year we can. The rest of the year is spent convincing our cisgender allies to do anything concrete, anything substantial to alleviate our suffering. This day we can cry for each other and the lost. And our tears might mean something for once, so we do not shed them lightly. We keep our speeches short. We have to say the names before people stop listening.

Last year these names were people. No one cared to know them then.
There will be more names next year. More people like us.

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance is an international day held on 20 November to remember trans people whose lives have been lost due to anti-transgender hatred and violence. Trans people face barriers in many aspects of their lives, from bullying at school to poor mental health, discrimination, and hate crime.

This evening, LGBT+ Society will be hosting a vigil for trans people who have lost their lives this past year. They invite you to join them as they read their names and light candles in their memory. The vigil will take place at the Chapel on campus at 19:30 today, Thursday 18 November.