Today, the 20th of November, is Transgender Day of Remembrance. It is a day where we, as the LGBT+ community and its allies, can remember the transgender and non-binary people who we have unfortunately lost and unite to celebrate their lives.
According to the organisation Stonewall, 48% of trans people in Britain have attempted suicide, with an even larger 84% having considered it. This is statistically higher than the majority of the population. On top of this, according to the Human Rights Campaign, last year was the worst year documented so far for transgender deaths in relation to hate crime, with a total of 29 deaths of transgender people relating to fatal violence in the U.S. alone.
As disheartening as this all is, it can and it will change. Just a few years ago many people were not even aware of what being transgender or non-binary is, whereas now it is becoming increasingly well-known and recognised within society. We may not be in a position of complete liberation, but discussions are open, mentalities are changing, and we are slowly garnering more rights. Uea(su) will always stand with trans students.
Today in the square from 5pm onwards I will be hosting a vigil where we can gather as a community and take a moment to pay our respects to the trans people we’ve lost this year.
If you feel affected by any of these issues, help is available. The university’s Student Support service can offer advice and mental health services. Pride Society is uea(su)’s peer support group for LGBT+ students. Membership is free, and it’s never too late to join. Pride’s Trans and Non-Binary sub-group is exclusive to trans, non-binary and intersex students, and provides a safe environment where you can meet other trans people at UEA.
Transphobia is Never OK. If you experience or witness transphobia, you can report it here: https://portal.uea.ac.uk/neverok/report-it. If you have any queries or wish to contact me, I am available at Jim.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Read, LGBT+, Trans & Non-Binary Place Officer