December 3, 2012

The Trans* Day of Remembrance at UBC 

November 20th is the Transgender Day of Remembrance: a day devoted to the memorial of the countless transgendered individuals who have lost their lives because of transphobia, hatred and discrimination, and to bring attention to the continued presence of violence towards transgendered individuals and communities. The day was founded in 1998 by activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith, to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts. It is now an international day of action, observed in over 185 cities across the world. 

This year, SASC collaborated Pride UBC, in the 2012 UBC memorial for the transgendered individuals who have been murdered in the past year. This event took place on Tuesday, November 20th, in the Art Gallery of the Student Union Building, and included guest speakers, a community open mic event, and the lighting of candles. SASC staff were present at this event, and Pride UBC’s Trans Tea Time support group followed.

As an organization devoted to supporting survivors of violence, we at SASC feel it is important to take part in this day, and to recognize how violence and sexual violence is a continued, ongoing reality, particularly for individuals who faced marginalization and oppression in our society.

We also recognize the discrimination and exclusion of transgendered individuals perpetuated within anti-violence organizations, under a framework which sees survivors as largely or solely cis-gendered and female. Not only do transgendered folk face higher rates of violence, but often face significant barriers in accessing shelters, resources and support services.

On a related note, UBC SASC is a service open to support individuals of any gender, including but not exclusive to transgendered folk, gender-variant and gender-queer, and individuals on trans-feminine and trans-masculine spectrums – as well as cis-gendered women and men. We do so out of an anti-oppressive feminist framework which acknowledges the need to provide services to any survivor of sexual violence who is seeking support, while acknowledging and working with the knowledge that sexual violence is a highly gendered issue in our society.


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