The 20th of November marks Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), observed annually to honour the memory of those lost to violence against transgender people.
It may surprise you that even in 2016, violence and abuse towards members of the transgender community is rife. Documentaries like I am Cait, the story of Caitlyn Jenner’s transition from male-identifying to female, has raised greater awareness of an issue faced by thousands of people around the world.
Yet, both in South Africa and abroad, trans and gender non-conforming (GNC) individuals often become the victims of domestic abuse and random acts of violence. Worse, within this already marginalised group, it’s usually people of colour and women or trans-feminine individuals who are most targeted.
Sadly, it’s not uncommon for transgender individuals to be seriously harmed or killed because of their gender identity, and TDOR serves to honour all people who have lost their lives to this tragic scourge of prejudice and hatred.
How can I show that I support transgender individuals in my community?
Helping to commemorate Trans Day of Remembrance, whether you’re part of the LGBTI community or simply a friend of it, is one really good way to show your support for transgender people. The more allies the trans community has, the greater their strength against the bullies and abusers.
Here are six other things you can do to show your support.
6 Ways to help make the world safer for transgender people
We love these meaningful ways to lend your support, as suggested by Impactprogram.org.
- Be an ally by calling out transphobic behaviour. Here’s an excellent piece from Autostraddle on how to do it – even if you’re trans yourself.
- Accompany your trans friends to a Transgender Day of Remembrance rally or event. If you don’t personally know anyone in the trans community, go anyway!
- Give the community a voice and platform by supporting media created by transgender people, like books, comics and other artwork.
- Always show the same respect to transgender and trans-feminine people as you would anyone else, including if you’re in a romantic relationship together. Here’s an important and insightful comic you should read if you’re dating trans people.
- Consider donating time, money or resources to organisations that support transgender people, like the Triangle Project.
- Learn about the past, present and future of transgender issues in South Africa – this Daily Maverick article is a good read or if you want to take a deeper dive Dr Tomson’s book, Always Anastacia http://doctomson.co.za/always-anastacia/ is an excellent place to start.
Sexual healthcare services for all South Africans
Regardless of your gender identity, age, sexuality or anything else, you’re always welcome at any Marie Stopes centre across South Africa. We provide a range of sexual healthcare services in a confidential and non-judgemental environment, so you can feel completely safe when you turn to us for help.