Saturday, November 16, 2013

Trans Day of Remembrance and the Purple Ribbon Project

The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) and the Purple Ribbon Project.
Wednesday November 20th, 2013

Remembering our dead and raising public awareness

A conservative estimate places the worldwide Transgender population at one in five hundred, unfortunately, public understanding and general misinformation about Transgender persons, especially children makes us a target of hatred and violence. In the last year, twenty nine Transpeople were murdered that we know of, and many more died through self harm. On Wednesday November 20th, The Transgender Day of Remembrance, Transpeople worldwide will hold vigils to remember our dead and honour them.

The Moongoddess Foundation, a not for profit enterprise in Toronto, ON., in association with The Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto’s Transgender Resource, Education, and Action Team group have created the Purple Ribbon Project to raise awareness of this most important day of the year for  Transpeople. The Purple ribbon already stands for anti LGBT Bullying and we thought it appropriate, since more than fifty percent of Trans youth ideate of suicide and self harm. Sadly, far too many follow through and succeed.  

On Sunday, November 17th, The Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto will be observing the Transgender Day of Remembrance at their 9:00 am, 11:00 am and 7:00 pm services with a moment of silence to honour those who died in the last year. 

November is a month of remembrance already, and we don’t want to take anything away from the veterans, as a great number of Transpeople have served and are serving proudly in the military worldwide. So we are asking people to wear the Poppy and the Purple in November, and to take a moment in the evening of November Twentieth to think about those we have lost.  If raising awareness saves even one life over the next year, it’s working.

Although TDOR is a day of somber remembrance, it is also an opportunity for the Transgender community to raise awareness of the fear of harassment and violence we live with every day of our lives. We are more likely to question our self worth, live in a web of denial and lies, and are very prone to depression.
We are your neighbours, we are your children, we are your family, and we are human. 

The T in LGBT Cannot be Silent.

These are the faces and names of Trans people Murdered since the last Trans Day Of Remembrance.

This is by no means a complete list as may deaths go unreported or the gender and names of the Transpeople are misreported.
This also does not take into account the 40-50 % of Transpeople who self harm.

Mercedes Demarco (aka Fernando Gomez): Died in police custody after being tased. The exact cause of death has not been disclosed by this writing.

Hilary Molina Mendiola: Pulled from a car and thrown from a bridge by two men in Mexico City.

S. Athiswaran: Found tied up and stabbed to death at her home in Bagan Ajam, Malaysia.

Eyricka Morgan: Died at a hospital after being stabbed at home in New Brunswick, N.J. A roommate has been arrested and charged with murder.

Melony Smith: Beaten to death in Baldwin Park, Calif. A suspect has been arrested.

Shaun Hartley: Found beaten to death in an abandoned house in Baton Rouge, La. Hartley was a witness to a murder for the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney and may have been silenced.

Konyale Madden: Found shot to death in her home in Savannah, Texas.

Islan Nettles: Died at a New York City hospital following removal of life support after being declared brain-dead following a brutal beating. Police have a suspect.

Domonique Newburn: Found dead in her home in Fontana, Calif. Police have a suspect.

Gaye: Found murdered in her home in Istanbul, Turkey.

J. Ratworabood: Shot to death after she was given a ride home in Khon Kaen, Thailand. The police arrested a suspect.

Mylene: Beaten to death with a hammer in Limoges, France. A suspect has been arrested.

D. Jones: Beaten, stabbed and hacked by a mob in Jamaica. No suspects have been arrested.

Hari (female name unknown): Found dead under a pile of rocks in Mangadu, India. A suspect has been arrested.

Diamond Williams: Hacked to death with an axe in Philadelphia. A suspect has been arrested.

Dora Oezer: Found stabbed to death in her home in the providence of Kusadasi in Turkey.

Unknown: Found dead in a Houston, Texas, gully.

Diana Martinez: Shot to death inside a hotel in Monterrey, Mexico.

Unknown: Brutally murdered in Hidalgo, Mexico.

Wanda: Legendary Miami entertainer was shot to death in Tampa, Fla. A suspect has been arrested.

Laura Aguilar: Stabbed to death in Rio Grande, Argentina, during an apparent domestic dispute with her ex-partner.

Cemia Acoff (aka Cemia Dove, Cici): Found in a retaining pond tethered to a block in Cleveland, Ohio. A suspect is now on trial for the murder.

Ashley Sinclair: Found shot to death in Orange County, Fla.

Kelly Young: Died at a hospital after being shot in her home in Baltimore, Md.

Milan Boudreaux: Found shot in the head at her New Orleans-area home. A suspect has been arrested.

Unknown: Beaten to death in Istanbul, Turkey.

Evon Young (aka Yung LT): Choked, shot and tossed in a dumpster. His body was never found. Five suspects were arrested.

Cecilia Marahouse: Shot just outside Fortaleza, Brazil.

Gunce Hatun (aka Dairy Babe): Shot on the streets of Istanbul, Turkey. A suspect was detained.

When you take into account that a conservative estimate of Transpeople is 1 in 500, these numbers become terrifying, with the assailants usually attempting the “Gay Panic” Defense when arrested.

Nobody should be so afraid that they take their own lives and nobody should ever be killed for being who they are.

Remember those who no longer have a voice. Remember them on November 20th and all year.

I Give My Voice
I give my voice, to those who no longer have a voice.
I raise my voice, against those who use hatred and violence against us.
I use my voice, to sing of the beauty both hidden and lost.
I lend my voice, to help people know the truth.
I am my voice, for as long as people need to hear.

Diana Howe 2013

Images and list courtesy of Courtney O’Donnell a.k.a. Lexie Cannes

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