20th November 2020
Trans Day of Remembrance
Every year, on November 20th, Trans Day of Remembrance, we honor the memory of trans people who lost their lives around the world, just because they are different. According to the Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM)research project, this year we mourn the loss of another 350 trans people who come to be added to the long list of victims of transphobia. At the same time, in Europe, we had 11 murders, half of which were migrants. Specifically, we had four in Italy, two in Russia, and one in Azerbaijan, France, Spain, Russia, Sweden.
The Covid19 pandemic has increased inequalities, systemic oppression and violence, not only towards trans people but also other marginalised groups, such as immigrants, asylum seekers, refugees, people with disabilities, older people and people living with HIV.
Every year, on November 20th, I find myself thinking about all those people who have been victims of transphobic violence. It seems absurd to me, in 2020, to abuse basic human rights and to separate people into categories that oppose each other on meaningless, in practice, issues. To be exact, I find it infuriating. I wonder, in the 12 months that have passed, whether anything has changed - even a little - for the better. I am thinking about what I myself can do in the next 12 months to contribute more to reducing transphobia and discrimination against trans people, as well as improving their quality of life.
Today is the day when we commemorate the trans victims of 2020 and reaffirm the importance of asserting the right to self-determination and ensuring it. Let us use it by bringing to our minds the trans people who have lost their lives unjustly, as well as the trans people who live among us, all victims of the transphobia that continues to tarnish our society. Let us stand by the people who are trying to find their voice and use our own privileged position to claim next to them a better world, where every person is treated equally, with respect and dignity.
After the difficult year that is coming to an end, 2021 may be the year that the draft bill on Legal Gender Recognition will reach the Cyprus Parliament. For those of us who have worked so hard in this direction, legal change is not only a challenge, but also an absolute goal.