By Ish Tominey-Nevado, Warwick Labour Member
Content Notice: references to transphobia and violence.
Today, 20th November, is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. We mourn and honour the lives of trans people internationally who have been subjected to transphobic violence and are no longer with us.
Each year, the Transgender Day of Remembrance project (TDOR) collates a list of all reported transphobic murders internationally, with the number reaching an appalling high this year of 369. This is a 12% increase on last year, and a 20% increase on 2016. Read through all the names of trans people whose murders have been reported this year and commemorate them, in the knowledge that many will have been misgendered and dead named in media coverage of their deaths. We should also recognise and honour the many trans people whose deaths have not been reported, as the marginalisation of trans people often means that their deaths tragically go unnoticed.
Moreover, it’s important we recognise that hateful transphobic violence disproportionately affects people of colour, women and migrants. From 2013 to 2018, out of 128 murders of trans people in the US, 109 were people of colour and 95 were black trans women (data from the HRC). Law enforcement organisations such as ICE in the US create a climate of fear for trans undocumented immigrants which prevent them from reporting transphobic violence. The death of Roxana Hernández (RIP) in the custody of ICE after seeking asylum from violence against LGBTQ+ communities in Honduras this May illustrates how our fight against transphobia must go hand in hand with the fight against structurally racist and xenophobic institutions and individuals.
It is important that our Party actively resists transphobia, particularly in light of recent developments of objectionable debates around trans rights in the press. These are not only promoted by right-wing newspapers but also in left-leaning organisations and some Labour members. These campaigns must be openly denounced as not only are they harmful for our trans members individually, but also they reinforce the marginalisation of and discrimination against trans people in our society. It is in this context that trans people are one of the groups in society most vulnerable to violence and hate, so we must actively challenge these harmful narratives.
Love and solidarity with the trans community at Warwick, and worldwide.