UK: Transgender victims remembered in day of action

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Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is taking place today (Tuesday 20 November) with a memorial event at the University of London Union starting at 7pm on Malet St, Bloomsbury.

A vigil is also taking place at Coventry’s University of Warwick at the same time.

TDoR first started in 1998, following the murder of Rita Hester, a transgender African American woman in Massachusetts.

International statistics compiled by the Trans Respect Monitoring Project identified at least 265 trans people murdered in the last twelve months, an increase of 20% on the previous year.

However, with only 29 countries supplying figures on the number of transgender people killed in 2012, the real figure is likely to be considerably higher.

TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber, whose union is marking TDor, said: “This increase in transgender murders is shocking and these are just the cases we know about. These horrifying figures show why it is essential that we combat transgender prejudice across the world.

“In the UK we have made enormous strides forward for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. However, there is no room for complacency even here.

“Police reports show that in the UK, transgender people are far more likely to be victims of hate crimes, and transgender union members speak of facing regular abuse and harassment”.

Mr Barber praised steps taken by ministers to address the problem, but warned against complacency:

“The government has produced an excellent action plan for progress towards genuine equality for the transgender community but there remains an enormous amount of work to do.”