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Three thoughts this Transgender Day of Remembrance

1911715_10154912243065565_3205825898850673008_nToday is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to pause and think of all those transgender people who have lost their lives just for being who they are across the world. I read the list of people who are being remembered in 2014 and it’s pretty harrowing to think of all those young lives lost through prejudice. Everybody should be free to express their identity without fear or attack.

A study earlier this year showed the high rates of suicide and attempted suicide amongst transgender people compared to the general population. We can’t stand by in the face of such evidence. It’s important that we make sure that everyone has the care and support that they need.

Paris Lees writes in the Guardian today about friends who have died far too soon and asks us all to show solidarity with transgender people.

I  spoke at the TDOR ceremony in London last year – one of the biggest in Europe, certainly in Britain, and possibly in the world. It was draining and moving and lacked the glitz and glamour of the well-funded galas and awards ceremonies that gay charities and magazines are able to throw at this time of year. It’s an event of which mainstream society is barely aware. Most of those attending were trans themselves, and there was a rawness and intense empathy with the suffering of those we remembered. I mean no offence to the wonderful people who give so much of their own time and emotion to organise TDOR, but we deserve better. We deserve better coverage in newspapers. We deserve better recognition at the political level. We deserve to feel like it is not just trans people who are moved and outraged by the culture of violence and abuse towards us here and around the world.

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