Wednesday, November 20 is Trans* Day of Remembrance, an international day set aside for remembering trans* individuals who have been murdered over the past year.
Statistically, one in twelve trans* identified persons will be murdered in their lifetime, and most of those are trans women, who often face higher scrutiny due to latent misogyny present around the world.
Moreover, the number increases to one in eight for trans persons of colour.
It is important to remember that victims of violent assaults are often people of intersectional identities, with trans women of colour being the most victimized group worldwide.
On the night of November 20, the Centre for Gender and Social Justice (CGSJ) and the Trent Queer Collective (TQC) are partnering up to bring the Peterborough community an evening of events to remember those who have been attacked both physically and systematically, and to validate trans* and non-binary identities.
The evening will begin in the Sadleir House Lecture Hall at 6pm, with a free community feast catered by Food Not Bombs. The meal will be completely vegetarian with vegan options, and utilizes the Ontario Public Interest Research Group’s (OPIRG) Green Dishes program.
Following the feast, there will be a film screening at 6:30pm of Cruel and Unusual, a documentary about trans women forced into male penitentiaries in the United States.
Women undergo physical, mental, and sexual abuse in this system of denigration when forced to share rooms with cis men.
Otherwise, they are forced into solitary confinement “for their own safety,” which has heavy consequences for these women’s mental health.
Moreover, often hormones and other gender identity treatments are refused to patients, causing even more stress and physical issues.
The film uses interviews and stories from trans women who are or have been in the male prison system, as well as from lawyers and those in charge of the prisons. After the film, there will be a short discussion and debrief before moving outside for the silent vigil.
At 8pm, participants will walk from Sadleir House down George Street North to City Hall, where other individuals interested in participating in the vigil can meet. The vigil will be silent and candle-lit, with candles provided by the CGSJ and TQC.
The night will then finish at a social at Barbeside, the bar in Catalina’s Hair Salon at 131 Hunter Street West, with spoken word poetry being performed.
The spoken word component will see frequenter of the slam scene, Charles Last, and Simon Semchuk. This will provide the opportunity to let off steam from the heaviness of the evening and have drinks in good company.
If you are interested in participating in the spoken word component, email the TQC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All events are free and open to all ages.
This is an important day to recognize the discrimination trans* and non-binary individuals face at the personal and systemic level.
If you cannot make the events, please at least take time to consider this on November 20.