International Transgender Day of Rememberance

For Immediate Release

The 14th International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is being held on 20 November 2012. TDOR occurs annually on November 20 to memorialize those who have been killed as a result transphobia. The day is also used to raise public awareness of hate crimes against transgender and gender non-conforming people. Transgender Europe’s Trans Murder Monitoring project has revealed a total of 265 cases of reported killings of transgender people from November 15th 2011 to November 14th 2012 worldwide.

The project’s preliminary results reveal 1083 reports of murdered trans* people in 56 countries since January 2008. Sadly, this year saw an exponential increase in the number of hate crimes such as physical assaults and murders against transgender and gender non-conforming people in South Africa. We paid farewell to Vuyisa Dayisi from East London and Sasha lee Gordon from Wynberg who were both brutally murdered because of their gender identity. Many other cases were not reported as the victims and their families feared secondary victimization from the police.

Transgender and Intersex Africa would also like to highlight the increase in the number of suicide deaths by transgender people as a result of depression caused by trans* related issues. There were two reported cases of suicide deaths by transgender people this year. The cases revealed the lack of post transitioning support for trans* persons in South Africa, they also revealed the lack of justice for the trans* community in the country. One of the victims, Liyaah Star, committed suicide after she was wrongfully accused of raping a 15 year old boy and being detained in a male prison as a result of the accusations. Since TDOR is on a Tuesday this year, Transgender and Intersex Africa will host the TDOR event on the 24th of November at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg in order to make the event accessible to more people. Ironically, Constitution Hill is home to the South African Constitutional Court. Even though South Africa has a constitution that is praised around the world for its inclusion of gender and sexual diversity, the trans* community in the country is still discriminated against, the laws of the country have failed to protect and serve the trans* community.

The event will include a candle lighting ceremony and talks from key note speakers in the South African LGBTI community. “This day brings great sadness and anger for me. Transgender people take their own lives or are murdered simply because they are different. I urge South Africans to realize the value of another human being’s life. Transgender people are human beings and deserve to live too”- says Tebogo Nkoana, Executive Director at Transgender and Intersex Africa. “The increase of hate crimes against the trans* community indicates that a lot still has to be done to sensitize the African continent about gender and sexual diversity. The misguided notion that transgenderism is not African cannot be used as an excuse to discriminate against trans* people any longer. South Africa belongs to all who live in it, as the freedom charter states.” Says Nthabiseng Mokoena, Advocacy coordinator at Transgender and Intersex Africa.

For more information contact: Tebogo Nkoana Executive Director at Transgender.intersex101@gmail.com or +2712 7972612

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Nthabiseng Mokoena Advocacy Coordinator

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