Gender non-conformity still an excuse for violence against transgenders

Executive director of Rainbow Pride Foundation (RPF) and the Pacific Sexual and Gender Diversity Network (PSGDN) Isikeli Vulavou. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

GENDER non-conformity is still used as an excuse for harassment, violence and even murder of transgender people.

These were the sentiments shared by the executive director of Rainbow Pride Foundation (RPF) and the Pacific Sexual and Gender Diversity Network (PSGDN), Isikeli Vulavou, while speaking at an event to commemorate the Transgender Day of Remembrance in Nabua, Suva today.

Mr Vulavou said a considerable number of transgender people lived in poverty and a large number reported suicidal ideation.

He said the Transgender Day of Remembrance was started by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998.
He said the day served to raise public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, as well as to publicly mourn and honour the lives the community members who might otherwise be forgotten.

A group of panelists were presented as they also represented and spoke on various issues affecting the LGBTQI+ community in the country.

The event was also supported by the Pacific Community (SPC) Regional Rights Resource Team(RRRT).

*More on this story in tomorrow’s edition of The Fiji Times and in our e-Edition.

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