Posted on November 18 2018
November 20th marks the nineteenth International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). This proliferating global event, used to commemorate those transgender folk sadly no longer with us. Whilst TDoR is traditionally associated with murder victims (targeted on a mere account of their gender identity), it's also used to recognize those subjected to other wrongdoings, all as latent transphobia rears it's ugly head. All too often, said victims ending their lives as a result.
However, Transgender Day of Remembrance isn't without it's cynics. Like other growing social movements, sometimes perceived as a means to merely garner attention, or fulfill some other personal agenda. And I concede, yes, that may be the case. That is, some members of the trans community, as in a very small proportion, may be guilty of leveraging TDoR for personal gain. Nevertheless, that doesn't negate the core objective of TDoR nor diminish it's critical importance, nor justify singling us for that matter.
Though it may be somewhat convenient (for some) to assume Transgender Day of Remembrance, or even the transgender community as a whole, is self-obsessed, that's all that assumption amounts to - more convenience. And ignorance. For until you've personally experienced the daily intolerance trans folk face, it's difficult to fully appreciate our plight. It's not only the slurs, stares, smirks, whispers, frowns experienced daily. Not only the inequities, discrimination in the workplace, lack of access to medical services, harassment, violence. Not only the legislated prejudice and bigotry, which seems to be only worsening. But the very real dangers.
Those dangers, unfortunately intumescing. Places such as Mexico, United States, Brazil, amassing the worst worldwide murder statistics. But though Australia boasts a relatively safe environment, we can't ignore the ongoing hazards transgender Aussies also face. For instance, escalating transphobic street violence, particularly across Sydney, Queensland, and Melbourne. Not to mention, the 2015 submission to the Royal Commission into Family Violence; which not only found trans Aussies were more prone to family violence, but less supported too. This shortcoming, partly owing to an enduring systemic bias towards a binary gender model. The Australian Institute of Health And Welfare, consolidating this finding in 2018 by pointing out enduring data gaps.
So though it may be convenient to assume Transgender Day of Remembrance is a bunch of self-indulgent nonsense, the reality not only suggests, but confirms otherwise. Social movements such as this, whilst easy to belittle, play an increasingly important role. Not only because trans murder statistics are seemingly only worsening, but in terms adding a level of accountability to the actions of such perpetrators, that often seems to be lacking. So this November 20th, and next November 20th, and the one after, I ask all trans folk to stand proud, and all neighbors to stand proudly with us.
Written by Chris Carvill (m2f)
Transitioning since 2016, Chris has become increasingly aware of the daily struggles, and unspoken injustices facing the trans community. As a writer, he's penned a book on meditation, composed several feature screenplays, and currently interviews music artists and comics for Weekend Notes. A primary school teacher by trade, Chris currently works for (Rainbow Tick Accredited) Peninsula Health.
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