November 20th marks the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Started in 1998 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith, the day honours the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed that same year. Each year since, vigils have been held to remember all transgender people whose lives were lost to acts of anti-transgender violence. To learn more, please read The Trans Murder That Started a Movement.
So far, 2016 has been the deadliest year on record for transgender people. In the United States alone, there have been 23 transgender people murdered as of October — this does not include those whose deaths went unreported. In addition, the majority of transgender people killed were people of colour. In Canada, many of the indigenous people who have gone missing or murdered were transgender or two-spirited.
This year, MOSAIC invites you to stand in solidarity with the transgender community and remember those we’ve lost. Let’s raise awareness of all forms of gender-based violence, in particular violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people.
Please take a moment to reflect on and remember the individuals who have lost their lives due to violence.
And while we honour the memory of those who are no longer with us, let us also raise support for young transgender and gender non-conforming people. November 20th is also International Children’s Day, and transgender youth and children have been making headlines in recent news. Let’s continue working to provide a future for them where transgender people are recognized and valued as they should be.
If you or someone you know is dealing with gender-based violence or trauma in their lives, feel free to contact MOSAIC’s Stopping the Violence staff for support at 604-254-9626.
MOSAIC offers free, confidential counselling support and outreach services for all self-identifying women who have experienced, or are at risk of, abuse, threats, or violence in an intimate relationship, sexual assault or childhood abuse. For more information, please visit mosaicbc.org/stv.
If you have been the victim of a crime, we can provide emotional support, information about your rights, legal information and referrals to help in your recovery. For more information, please visit mosaicbc.org/mvs.