TDoR 2018: Say their names. Learn their stories. Remember them
At the end of October 2017 a group of us started preparing for the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) 2017 vigil in my home town of Bournemouth, and I volunteered to collate data on those we had lost.
Aside from the vigil itself, the end results were two blog posts, many tears and a lot of painstakingly collected data which we used to produce a memorial card for every victim we knew about.
I’ve done a lot of things since I came out in 2001, but volunteering to collate the data for the Trans Day of…medium.com
There was of course a cost — collating the data we needed for the vigil was an incredibly time consuming and emotionally intense experience which took quite a toll on me. I wrote about what happened in the blogpost Remembering Our Dead never gets any easier.
Nevertheless, it was the right thing to do and I don’t regret it one bit. That said, for my own sanity I’ve decided to approach the process for TDoR 2018 differently and collect data throughout the year.
That is actually not as difficult as it sounds as the majority of the deaths reported originate in a single country (Brazil) with a well established trans murder monitoring programme by organisations like RedeTransBrasil and Grupo Gay da Bahia. Many others are either in the USA (which is well covered by the English speaking LGBT press) or countries in South America which share a common language (Spanish).
Once you know the search terms to look for (e.g. “travesti/transgenero/transexual muerte/muerto” for Spanish language areas) it’s relatively easy to find most of the corresponding news reports.
It also helps that I’ve learnt that I’m far from the only one tracking down such reports. For example, there is a Trans Violence News Facebook group to which many (if not most) reports are posted. As a result I’ve been able to focus my efforts more towards writing up what we’ve found and making people aware of what’s going on in the world.
In the pages linked below you will find details of trans people I know to have been killed during the period 1st October 2017 to 30th September 2018.
I’ve also included details of a handful of those lost to suicide or backstreet surgical procedures, although as most cases are not reported (or not reported as being deaths of trans people), very few cases are listed here by comparison with the number killed directly by others.
Needless to say I’ll be updating the posts for each month as time progresses and more reports come to light.
Note that these pages are likely to show only a subset of the full list of victims which will be released by Transgender Europe (TGEU) in early November 2018 in preparation for TDoR events worldwide. Once that list has been released, I will obviously try to update the linked pages below to reflect the missing entries.
I would however caution not to read anything into the specific numbers, as given how poor the reporting of trans violence is worldwide, that in itself is of course likely to be a severe underestimate.
What matters most is not how many or few of them there are, but that we remember them, and do what we can to change things for the better.
If anyone has details to add, please let me know — I’ll be happy to update the posts above with any additional details you can share.
No matter who they were, we mourn and miss every single one of them.
A final thought: in compiling all of this information, it’s struck me that a blog site like Medium really isn’t the ideal way to present individual biographies, and that a dedicated database driven site where contributors could upload/edit individual entries independently would probably work much better.
If others wish to collaborate on such an effort, let me know.
Anna is a software engineer and small business owner in Bournemouth, United Kingdom. When she’s not working, she’s a bolshy cow on Twitter.about.me