Friday, November 18, 2011

Transgender Day of Remembrance

221 is the loneliest number.

November 20 is observed internationally as the Transgender Day of Remembrance. Founded in 1998 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender activist, this occasion honors the memory of those were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice.

The University of the Philippines Babaylan is one with the transgender community in mourning for our brothers and sisters who died this year. As we light our candles for the 221 names in the Trans Murder Monitoring Project's registry (corresponding to one trans person killed every other day), as well as for the countless other undocumented cases, we remember the passion, courage and strength with which these individuals lived their lives, even in the face of hatred and indifference. May they have eternal peace.

UP Babaylan also observes this occasion to raise awareness within the UP community of hate crimes against transgender and gender non-conforming people. Over the last decade, more than one person per month has died due to transgender-based hate or prejudice, and the trend shows no sign of abating. There have also been reported cases of transgender (as well as gay, lesbian, and bisexual) killings in the Philippines; this makes our concern for our safety alarmingly real.

We are appalled that innocent people have been beaten, stabbed and shot because they were honest enough to be themselves.

We are indignant at how some people, because of ignorance and hate, can stone, strangle or burn others to death.

As the State University's primary LGBT student collective, we urge the UP administration to strengthen its safety measures to ensure that all of its students, faculty and staff are able to study, work and live securely on campus, regardless of their gender identity/expression and sexual orientation. This measure should ultimately include an anti-bullying or anti-discrimination policy explicitly covering gender identity/expression and sexual orientation. Without this policy, UP's LGBT constituency will continue to remain vulnerable to bigotry, hostility or violence.


The list of of the 221 reported murdered trans persons from November 20th 2010 to November 14th 2011 can be found here:

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