The Australian National LGBTI Health Alliance has commemorated the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance – noting the importance of remembering transgender people who have died from suicide alongside those who have died from physical violence.
‘Despite recent legislative gains, trans people in Australia continue to experience harassment, vilification, isolation and distress,’ National LGBTI Health Alliance executive director Warren Talbot said.
‘Trans people who are not able to express their gender safely, whether due to lack of medical treatment or social stigma, are at significantly higher risk of suicide.’
Talbot said research suggests that transgender people have suicide rates of at least 14 times higher than other Australians and many transgender people continue to experience discrimination in employment, health care, housing and other aspects of daily life.
‘Trans Day of Remembrance reminds us of the destructive consequences that can occur when trans people are excluded or mistreated,’ Talbot said.
‘TDoR provides an opportunity for us to reaffirm our commitment to promoting resilience and dignity for trans people by adopting and implementing non-discriminatory policies.
‘As we seek greater inclusion, it is important to remember the consequences of excluding trans people and their specific needs from service provision and health data collection.’
Transgender Day of Remembrance, is celebrated internationally 20 November each year and was founded by USA transgender activist Gwen Smith in 1998 in memory of murdered transgender woman Rita Hester.
Since then Transgender Day of Remembrance has grown to become an international event observed around the world.