Trans Day of Remembrance (20 November) was founded by Gwendolyn Ann Smith in 1999 to commemorate the life and death of Rita Hester, a black trans woman murdered in Boston, Massachusetts.
Since then, people across the world have used the day to commemorate and celebrate the lives of the Transgender community who are increasingly at risk of hate and harm. Across the world, in the last year (October 2022 – September 2023), 320 trans and gender diverse people were confirmed killed (source: Transgender Europe). Please note that not all killings of trans* people are recorded as such, as families of the victims and media are often known to identify the victim by their name and gender assigned at birth, rather than their lived identity.
Our LGBT Staff Networks said: "In times of increasing division, with unprecedented opportunities to connect, we need to support each other's ability to live in different ways, with freedom to include others who may differ from us, aware that our experiences may differ but that these differences offer chances to connect. These times of financial and political adversity are exhausting and supporting others is daunting, but community allows support in a way which benefits all involved."
On Trans Day of Remembrance, many of us, whether cis or trans, can reflect on how we can work together to end gender-based violence, harassment and discrimination in all their forms. Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be supporting 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, so please get involved and make use of the resources and support.
In the meantime, please check out the following online resources and modules:
GLAAD: Tips for Allies of Transgender People
“The following are tips that can be used as you move toward becoming a better ally to transgender people. Of course, this list is not exhaustive and cannot include all the “right" things to do or say because often there is no one “right" answer to every situation you might encounter.
When you become an ally of transgender people, your actions will help change the culture, making society a better, safer place for transgender people and for all people (trans or not) who do not conform to conventional gender expectations."
Learn more here.
Tackling Harassment - Promoting Cultural Change in Higher Education: Responding to Disclosures
This online Moodle module provides in-depth information about harassment, hate incidents and hate crimes. It explains the impact of these on the person concerned, as well as the wider community. It provides clear examples and tools on how to respond to difficult disclosures.
Click here to access the module.
Gender-Based Violence Training
Created in partnership with the University of Highlands and Islands, this online course aims to develop participants' understanding of the nature, extent and impact of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), especially in the Higher Education sector. It also offers practical guidance on how to respond to disclosure.
Click here to access the module.
Please remember that the LGBT+ staff network enables LGBT+ colleagues and allies to come together to share information, learn together, socialise and support each other. By signalling a LGBT+ presence on campus, we can ensure we maintain a comfortable and fully inclusive environment in which everyone can each reach their full potential without fear of discrimination. In the spirit of true inclusivity the network is also open to all staff who are supporters of LGBT+ and equality issues, including allies. Click here to find out more and to join the network.