Lib Dems mark Trans Day of Remembrance

Today, 20th November, is the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, when we stop to think of those trans people who have lost their lives to murder in the past year. This year’s list has a horrifying, 320 murders. 94% of those murdered were trans women.  A further 72 lost their lives to suicide.

Last year, there were no murders and suicides in the UK. This year there were 5, one murder, Brianna Ghey and 4 suicides.

All lives ended too soon. Young people who should have been accepted as who they are and left alone to live their lives in peace.

If your child comes out to you as trans, you are likely to be very scared indeed by the rising hate crime figures and the rising suicide figures. The number of trans people experiencing suicidal ideation is a massive concern – almost 90% in a study published earlier this year. 

At the same time we see Government ministers deny, demean and ridicule trans people on an almost daily basis. And let’s not forget that Labour has decided to give in to the Tory culture war on this. In the US there are hundreds of anti trans pieces of legislation.

And we wonder why trans people are the target of violence and are driven to poor mental health, suicidal ideation and more. We could just support them, give them the healthcare they need, make sure their rights are protected in law and give vibes of acceptance. It really isn’t rocket science.  Thankfully, Lib Dem policy is centred on doing exactly that.

Lib Dems have been marking Transgender Day of Remembrance.

On the Lib Dem website, Christine Jardine, our Equalities spokesperson wrote:

Today is Trans Day of Remembrance – an important opportunity to remember those who have lost their lives to transphobia, and reflect on how we as a society can end this loss of life.

In decades past, the UK has led the world in advancing human equality for all LGBT+ people – with the Liberal Democrats playing a particularly key role in driving that forward.

But in recent years, progress has stalled and even gone backwards. I’m deeply concerned to see such a vulnerable group of people being dragged into a manufactured culture war.

We cannot forget the chilling impact this has on people’s lives, either. Like the fact that last year, transphobic hate crimes in England and Wales hit a record high. Or the heartbreaking reality that nine in ten young trans adults have had suicidal thoughts – a much higher proportion than the wider population.

Today, my thoughts are with everyone in the trans community who have already lost their lives. Like Brianna Ghey, a 16 year old trans girl who was tragically killed earlier this year. And Alice Litman, who had been waiting more than three years for gender-affirming healthcare when she passed.

Let me be clear – Liberal Democrats will always stand up for the rights of everyone in the LGBT+ community, including trans people.

There is still a long way to go to achieve true equality for the trans community, but Liberal Democrats will keep fighting. We owe it to Brianna, Alice and everyone else we have lost.

LGBT+ Lib Dems said on Twitter:

Today marks Trans Day of Remembrance, a solemn occasion for our #LGBTQ+ communities and allies to reflect, remember, and honour our remarkable trans and non-binary siblings, whose lives were tragically cut short.

Whilst Trans Day of Remembrance concludes Trans Awareness Week, it remains crucial to persist in raising awareness about the prevailing injustice and prejudice in society. Let’s also celebrate the remarkable activists and trailblazers throughout history.

Earlier in Transgender Awareness Week, Plus said there are things we can all do to bring light into the current toxic environment for trans people – an environment which damages us all.

Here are some actions you can take to show your support:

📚 Educate yourself on trans issues.
👤 Use correct pronouns and names.
🗣️ Speak out against discrimination.
💙 Support trans organisations.

🌈 Respect and champion diverse identities.

One thing that you can very usefully do is always do your homework. If you are offered “training” on the Eauality Act, do check with either LGBT+ Lib Dems, the LGA or ALDC to see if they would endorse it. You might find that a well-funded anti trans group is behind it.

We all have to do our bit to bring people together and build a culture of compassion, acceptance and celebration of diversity. If we can do that, it’s the best resilience we can build as a society against those who just want to stoke division and fear. The anti trans groups will just melt away.

Back in the 80s, all the same arguments that are being used against trans people were being used against gay men and lesbian mothers. That climate of fear and discrimination led to the Conservative Government using disgraceful rhetoric and passing the abominable Section 28.

While it was Tony Blair’s Government that supported getting rid of Section 28, they didn’t do it alone. It was our leader, Ed Davey, who moved the critical amendment, almost exactly 20 years ago. LGBT+ Lib Dems Communications Officer Luke Allan wrote:

The journey from Section 28 to its repeal underscores that our work isn’t complete. The 20th anniversary serves as a call to recommit to building an inclusive society, particularly amidst the growing transphobia promoted by far-right groups and media. Let this milestone inspire further action towards a society where everyone, irrespective of their sexual orientation, can live without discrimination and prejudice.

The Liberal Democrats, as the UK’s leading political party on LGBTQ+ equality issues, reaffirm their dedication to developing and promoting progressive policies, campaigns, and championing the voices of diverse communities both outside and within the wider party.

Every day, the job of every liberal is to think what they can do to make the world a better, happier place and that includes standing up for those who are marginalised. Twenty years ago, we hoped for but didn’t really envisage the joyful acceptance of same sex marriage. It’s now time to make sure our country, and the world, is a safe, accepting place where trans people are able to live their lives in peace.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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2 Comments

  • Stephen Harte 20th Nov '23 - 7:45pm

    Well said Caron!

  • Sarah Brown 20th Nov '23 - 8:22pm

    I don’t envy the moderators of this having to deal with the foaming invective which is likely now coming their way from the Anti Trans Flat Earth brigade.

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