November 20 is the Trans Day of Remembrance, where we honour the memories of people who have been murdered for being trans. This is a global event, and Reykjavík will be hosting a manifestation of its own.
The event begins at 17:00 at Harpa Concert Hall with a light show, which includes the concert hall being lit up in the colours of the trans pride flag (seen above). From there, the event moves to nearby Reykjavík City Hall.
There, an address will be made by Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson, followed by the chair of Trans Ísland, Ugla Stefanía Kristjönudóttir Jónsdóttir. Other related parties will also offer their thoughts and reflections, after which there will be a moment of memorial for the trans people lost to violence in 2019.
Violence against trans people is a global problem. A total of 331 trans people were murdered around the world between October 1st of last year and September 30th of this year. The majority of these murders—130—were in Brazil, followed by 63 in Mexico and 30 in the United States.
In fact, the situation in the United States—where it has been predominantly trans women of colour who are targeted—has reached such a crisis level that last June, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared violence against American trans people to be an epidemic.
The AMA further believes that these numbers could be even higher due to underreporting, or law enforcement not recognising the victims as trans nor cataloguing the murders as hate crimes. They also point out that mainstream media has a consistent problem of reporting the incorrect gender identities of those killed, further obscuring the total scope of the problem to the general public.
Further exacerbating the violence committed against trans people in the US is the fact that most states allow for the so-called “trans panic defence”; a legal argument that some who have committed violence against trans people have employed, contending that discovery of another person’s gender identity induced a panicked rage that they could not control.
For these reasons and many others, the Trans Day of Remembrance honours the memories of the fallen. Everyone, trans and cis alike, are invited and encouraged to attend.
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