'Too many lives have been lost, and too many rights continue to be ignored and violated': Transgender Day of Remembrance 2021

Maggie Munn (they/them) is a Gunggari person and campaigner for Amnesty International Australia. These are their words on Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual observance that honours the memory of trans and gender diverse whose lives were lost in acts of transphobic violence.

The LGBTQIA+ community has long experienced violence and discrimination, lack of understanding and prejudice, but our trans siblings have and continue to suffer extreme violence.

On this day, and in all of our activism and advocacy we continue to remember the lives lost to this violence and prejudice.

Trans people are beautiful, their lives matter, and their identities are valid. Too many lives have been lost, and too many rights continue to be ignored and violated. We must strive to show up and fight alongside our trans siblings as they demand justice, respect and the right to be themselves in a world that has long denied that.

I continue to be inspired and empowered by trans activists and advocates fighting to make our queer communities safer, and more inclusive, and by extension making the world better.

Witt Gorrie (they/he) is a deadly abolitionist working to provide support for trans and gender diverse folks who are incarcerated, coming back into their communities from prison and those who are at risk of incarceration.

The unreal educator Ericka Hart (she/them), who is a queer non-binary femme, reminds us that

“Trans awareness week is a good time to remember that visibility does not equal justice, safety, or freedom.”

And as we post our social media tiles and tweet our hashtags commemorating this important week, we must also remember it’s our responsibility to continue to fight against transphobia, dismantle the systems that exist to keep our queer communities down, and to make this world a more inclusive place for all of our siblings.

On this day of remembrance, join us as we light a candle, and take a moment to acknowledge and remember all of those who have lost their lives, and all of those who have gone before us to fight for our rights to exist in this world.

We are forever grateful.

How you can support

  • To remember those we have lost and celebrate the power and strength of the trans community, you can attend an event on this important day of community solidarity, as we all commit to the ongoing fight against transphobia.
  • The Australian government will soon introduce their Religious Discrimination Bill to Parliament, threatening the rights of trans people to access healthcare. A healthcare worker could refuse to treat trans patients because of their own religious views. Our laws should protect all of us, equally. The rights of one group cannot come at the expense of the rights of others. Email your MP to stand against this hateful bill.

Trans rights are human rights. Simple as that. Learn more about Amnesty International Australia’s work on LGBTQIA+ rights here.