The Transgender Day of Remembrance is now an international day of reflection of all those Transgendered people who have died from violence or by their own hand. In the United Kingdom we have a national memorial in Sackville Gardens on Canal Street in Manchester, the same park were Sparkle is held every year.
As the sad role of names of those who we have lost are read out it provides a painful reminder that even in this day and age, despite this being one of the best years ever for Transgender visibility, we are still a long way to full acceptance and understanding.
Throughout the UK event held in Manchester, Liverpool, London, and many other locations as well as across world, the day was marked with remembrance events. I saw information about events in New Zealand, America, UK, Germany and France, as well as Ireland and Iceland. We remember their names and they are not forgotten.
This year the event was marred by the news of a Transgendered woman who died in prison on the Friday before the event.
This was a sad occasion as, the 21 year old woman in question, Vicky Thompson, was placed into a male prison despite living full time for many years and presenting as female in all aspects of her life.
Ok, she was a criminal, had been tried and convicted of an offence, but then being placed in a male prison was not in her best interest. This is not the first time we have had this issue this year, as a couple of months ago a similar thing happened to another woman, Tara Hudson, who was also placed into a male prison in Bristol, but was moved after a successful lobbying campaign.
I have read about people being in the same situation in other countries, and there is no support mechanism to help them. This is one of the ongoing issues faced by Trans people world wide, and where Trans Activists are continually working to improve. Education, understanding and tolerance are the most needed things in the world
So where we are is a lot better off than were we have come from, we still have a long way to go.
They were known to us and will not be forgotten.