Increase in killings of transgender people

A minute of silence was observed during the Transgender Day of Rememberance in Suva yesterday. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

THE number of murders involving members of the transgender community has increased globally, claims the executive director of the Pacific Sexual and Gender Diversity Network (PSGDN) and Rainbow Pride Foundation (RPF), Isikeli Vulavou.

Speaking during the celebrations held to mark the Transgender Day of Remembrance in Suva yesterday, Mr Vulavou said the trans murder monitoring data for the Transgender Day of Remembrance 2018 update had revealed a total of 368 cases of reported killings of trans and gender diverse people between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018.

“This constituted an increase of 43 cases compared with last year’s update and 73 cases compared with the 2016 update,” Mr Vulavou 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 the transgender community as well as to publicly mourn and honour the lives of community members who might otherwise be forgotten.

“It also helps to raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people and address the issues these communities face,” he said.

He said the day also honoured the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

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