Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, when people around the world honour the memories of those who have been murdered simply for being trans, and Icelanders will be amongst the people taking part in this solemn occasion.
According to available data, 368 trans people around the world have been murdered between October 2017 and September 2018—28 of them teenagers. While Iceland is not prone to violent crime, transphobia, which motivates these murders, is unfortunately alive and well here.
Trans Iceland has launched an event for this day, hosted by the National Queer Organisation.
“Trans Iceland invites all who wish to come to a memorial service at Samtökin ’78 where we will come together, both to remember those whose lives have been lost and also to give each other strength and support,” the event text reads. “Those who are interested in stepping up with a speech, poetry, music or other performances in honour of the day are welcome to contact us here or on our Facebook page.”
Transphobia does of course extend outside of homicide. As trans rights activist Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir writes in Metro:
“These reported cases [of murder] are only the tip of the iceberg. Trans people around the world face heightened levels of grotesque hate driven violence, sexual abuse, discrimination and exclusion from within their families and society in general — and young trans people are no exception. In fact, a body of research shows alarmingly high suicide rates among trans youth — with up to 45% of trans youth in the UK having attempted suicide.”
The event will be wheelchair accessible and family-friendly, and begins at 17:00 today. The general public is welcome to attend.
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