Keith Taylor MEP has joined Greens across the South East in speaking out against anti-trans violence on the Trans Day of Remembrance 2018.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance, also known as the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, has been observed annually on 20 November as a day to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia and highlight the continued violence endured by the transgender community.
The European Parliament Intergroup on LGBTI rights notes that, between October 2017 and September 2018, there have been 369 known victims of deadly transphobic violence.
In a statement on social media, the group said:
"Today we commemorate the 369 (known) victims of transphobic violence in the past year. No one should die simply for being who they are. Today and all days of the year, we are committed to fight for the right of trans people to life, dignity and self-determination. We are in this together."
Mr Taylor MEP believes the day must be one of reflection and action. He said:
"We must recognise the frightening extent of the violence and hatred experienced by transgender people and commit to taking the action necessary to stamp it out."
On Sunday, groups in Brighton came together at a community vigil honouring the memory of all those who have died as a result of anti-transgender violence at Dorset Gardens Methodist Church, hosted by the Clare Project and Trans Alliance - both groups that work to support trans people.
Speaking ahead of the event, local councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty said:
"This Sunday I am standing with the trans community as we come together to remember and honour those who have lost their lives to violent prejudice. In our city, between April 2017 and March 2018, there were 35 recorded hate crimes against the trans community. Although many understand our city to be a bastion of inclusion these figures attest to prejudice which is still ruining people’s lives."
"Trans Day of Remembrance highlights the horrific and unacceptable impact that transgender violence is having on our communities. We know that transphobia also takes a devastating toll on trans people’s mental health — recent figures from Stonewall remind us that 1 in 2 trans people have thought about taking their own life in the last year."
“All residents, regardless of their gender, deserve to live a life safe from fear and prejudice. In the memory of those who have lost their lives, we must continue to stamp out hate. Especially at a time when the trans community has come under renewed attack, Greens will speak out against transphobia and press for equality for our trans community.”
Councillor Mac Cafferty led the work of the council's Trans Scrutiny Panel in 2012, which examined the needs and discrimination faced by people who identify as trans. The work led to the first health action plan to include the trans community; a toolkit for our city’s teachers to educate pupils about transphobia and work with Sussex police to improve hate crime reporting.