Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. It is a day where, with dignity and respect, we remember those who have come before us, and those who were ripped and stolen from us due to hate and prejudice. It is a day where we are thankful for how far we have come, but must acknowledge how far we have yet to go in creating a society where Trans people are not subject to abuse or neglect for their gender identity.
Still in this country, the chances of being physically assaulted or murdered are significantly higher for Trans people than for any other group. The attempted suicide rate is 48%, due mainly to the psychological trauma of a lack of support and information, coupled with open, casual hostility towards Trans people from all corners of society. Families regularly ostracise and shun members for being Trans, leaving many Trans people homeless and in poverty.
Sadly, Trans issues are so readily dismissed by people who have no concept of the struggles and prejudices the community faces, which is why we need to continue to raise awareness.
Over the past couple of decades, the number of people seeking to transition has increased nearly ten-fold. We must celebrate the courage and tenacity of those who paved the way for us, and continue their work so that future generations are not subject to the same dehumanising treatment and ignorance that has been a death sentence for so many.