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Sheffield to honour trans lives at Trans Day of Remembrance event

In the Winter Garden on Saturday, trans people who have lost their lives to transphobia will be remembered by trans people and allies.

The words You are not alone on a painting of a life belt in the colours of the trans pride flag

You are not alone in trans colours

Hello I'm Nik

Trans people face prejudice around the world, leading to discrimination, violence, mental health problems and more. Many trans people have a story of being abused, intimidated, discriminated against or attacked because of their gender identity.

All eyes are on Qatar ahead of the World Cup, for instance, where Human Rights Watch reports four trans women were detained, beaten, and only released on the agreement that they underwent conversion therapy. While many are now aware of the homophobia built into the legal system in the country, trans people’s rights have had scant – if any – coverage.

But this is not an “elsewhere” problem. In the UK, too, there are significant problems with transphobia. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe named the UK as being notable for "extensive and often virulent attacks on the rights of LGBT+ people" and there are trans people leaving the UK entirely to feel safer. The government indecision on the ban they had promised on anti-LGBT+ conversion therapy was in part due to pressure to make anti-gay conversion therapy illegal while keeping anti-trans conversion therapy on the table.

In Sheffield, there has been a 41% increase in transphobic hate crimes, Sheffield City Council left the Stonewall Diversity Champions scheme, and trans people in the city told Now Then about the abuse and hate they face. Waiting lists for trans healthcare in Sheffield, like elsewhere in the country, are terrifyingly long.

All of this leads to an environment – locally, nationally and internationally – where trans rights are too often either ignored or knowingly trampled on and trans people invariably suffer. At worst, this can lead to transphobic violence and mental health problems.

So in the Winter Garden on Saturday, people will gather to mark Trans Day of Remembrance. While this annual event was created to mark the deaths of trans people lost to violence, many now choose to also remember those lost to suicide or substance misuse, too, especially if living in a toxic or transphobic environment contributed to somebody’s death.

LGBT Sheffield and city LGBT+ youth charity SAYiT are hosting the event and speakers and a vigil are planned as a mark of respect.

Learn more

Trans Day of Remembrance will take place in Sheffield Winter Gardens on the November, 5-7pm.

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