On Transgender Day of Remembrance, the world pauses to remember the lives of the many transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming persons killed in acts of targeted, transphobic violence. On every continent, transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming persons confront violence, harassment, and discrimination that shock the conscience, simply based on their gender identity or expression. For far too many, their own governments contribute to this stigma by denying access to justice, health, economic self-sufficiency, and community that are the hallmarks of inclusive and prosperous societies. We recognize Transgender Day of Remembrance because transgender persons are disproportionately represented among victims of violence around the world.
There are ample ways to prevent discrimination and violence against transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming persons, beginning by recognizing their basic humanity and affirming their human rights. In addition, when trans persons are victims of violence and even homicide, it is essential that attacks be investigated, that the perpetrators be brought to justice, and that investigators and media correctly gender the victims and investigate the attack as a possible hate crime. Advancing gender equity and equality advances safety, security and prosperity for all.
Transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming persons have always been a part of our families, cultures, and nations. History teaches us that gender diversity is not new and that the strongest societies celebrate the intellectual and cultural contributions and creativity that come from diversity. As we mourn the transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming persons who have paid the ultimate price for others’ hatred, we honor their memory by continuing the fight for a world free of transphobic and gender-based violence and discrimination. Everyone should be able to live a life that reflects and celebrates their truest self.