Trans Day of Remembrance is on Sunday 20 November this year. It was founded by Gwendolyn Ann Smith in 1999 to honour the life and death of Rita Hester, a Black transgender woman that was murdered in Boston in 1998. Each year this day is a solemn reminder to honour those who have lost their lives in acts of anti-trans violence and we’re determined to counter the anti-trans actions we see as allies and members of the LGBTQ + community.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that trans people are significantly more likely to be a victim of crime (one in four trans people (28%) experienced crime in the year ending March 2020) compared with 14% of people whose gender identity is the same as the sex they were registered at birth.
To honour those who have lost their lives to acts of anti-trans violence, the university is holding a Trans day of Remembrance flag-raising ceremony, open to all members of the community, on Friday 18 November from 11:45 – 12:15. The ceremony will be at the Whiteknights Campus Flagpole (between Whiteknights House and Edith Morley) and will include speeches from colleagues and students across the university. You do not have to be a member of the LGBTQ+ Community to partake in the vigil, all are welcomed and encouraged to attend.
In addition, on the Sunday itself Reading Pride’s MyUmbrella LGBT+ is organising the annual Trans Day of Remembrance Virgil in Reading. It’ll be held at the Reading Biscuit Factory on Sunday 20th November 2022 at 5pm. It’s free entry and open to all, the vigil can also be watched on YouTube from 7pm.
If you need support or just a chat with someone who understands, here are a few options:
The University, RUSU and your local community offers various support for students including:
- The university’s LGBT+ society run by and for LGBT+ students. This society has created a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community within and around the university, and looks out for the welfare of their members.
- Galop are an LGBT+ anti-abuse charity. You can call their LGBT+ Hate Crime Helpline 020 7704 2040, or email HateCrime@galop.org.uk they are available Monday to Friday 10:00 until 16:00.
- Switchboard LGBT+ Helpline – one stop listening service for LGBTQ+ people by phone, email or instant messaging service. They also offer a free switchboard emotional wellbeing support pack
- The mental health charity Mind provide support and advice for LGBTIQ+ mental health, sharing a range of positive outlets and useful contacts for people to choose from.
- The local Thames Valley charity Support U are an LGBT+ resource centre. They offer specialist LGBT+ counselling and reporting hate crime and domestic & sexual abuse support services. They also have events and groups you can join, including the R-Trans Group, Reading’s longest Trans inclusive support and social group. They also have a helpline (0118 321 9111) open Monday to Friday, 10:00 until 17:00, and if you’d prefer to talk face to face you can also book an appointment at their Wellbeing centre in Reading.
To learn and understand more about Trans Day of Remembrance, check out websites such as Stonewall, Glaad and TDOR.