Black background on the blog today to mark the 2010 Trans Day of Remembrance.
In my last post I mentioned 'The Smiling Animal at His Appointed Hour', a poem I'd written about the murder of Andrea Waddell. But it could just as easily have been about the hundreds of other trans women who are murdered every year, just as she was. . And it would be nice to say that those victims are murdered only by the people who commit the immediate violence against them, but that would be a comforting lie. Trans people - overwhelmingly trans women - are subject to such violence because of a system that discriminates against them, disadvantages them and makes them outcasts.
Andrea Waddell was murdered by a client she met as a sex worker. But she became a sex worker because, despite her being a Durham University graduate, employers rejected her from other jobs. If the transphobes who rejected her hadn't done so, she wouldn't have been murdered that night. Like all the victims of anti-trans violence, Andrea's murder was as much the fault of everyone who discriminated against her because of her trans status as it was of the cis man who murdered her.
This is why I get so angry with scumbag 'comedians' who make transphobic jokes or venal little newspaper bastards who write dehumanising, misogynistic reports about trans women. That kind of behaviour legitimises the discrimination and exclusion that create a climate in which so many trans women are murdered. Those jokes, those reports and that attitude have a body count.
Today is the day we remember all those who have died as a result of that ignorance. You can find out more here and find a list of the dead from the past year here.