Leeds Transgender Day of Remembrance

Wednesday 20 November marks Transgender Day of Remembrance. This commemorative day honours the memory of those who have lost their lives in acts of anti-transgender violence.

Numerous organisations supporting the transgender community, including Our Space and Non- Binary Leeds, worked together with members of Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust to organise various events in Leeds.

Kate Ward, a Practice Learning Facilitator with the Trust and founding member of the Rainbow Alliance, has been actively involved with the Leeds remembrance event for the past three years. She said:

“The continued violence experienced by this community worldwide is harrowing and we must observe this poignant day to reflect and remember this. As a mental health professional, I am all too aware of how profound the psychological impact of hate crime and anti-trans violence is. Our trans and non-binary communities are at a significantly increased risk of experiencing depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, suicidal thoughts, self-harm behaviour – it’s a deeply saddening disparity. Personally, I’m committed to addressing these disparities as part of the work of the Rainbow Alliance network I co-created within my NHS organisation. We all need to take a stand against the transphobia-based violence which our trans and gender-diverse communities are subjected to every day and make the world a safer place for them to live their lives.”

On the day of remembrance there was a pop-up exhibition with speakers from organisations that are committed to supporting our trans and non-binary communities and a candlelit vigil in Park Square, led by members of the trans and non-binary community. The annual events are open for all to attend to reflect and pay respects.

Joni Clark from the Leeds Non-Binary community commented:

“TDOR is a day for the trans and non-binary community to mourn and honour the lives of the trans and non-binary people lost to transphobic violence globally in the last year. We mourn those lost to physical violence, as well as those we lost as a result of the emotional violence waged on us by those who deny our experience and our right to life. Transphobic violence does not exist in a vacuum, and societal hostility to trans people from the media and those in power is inextricably tied to the violence we face around the world; this is doubly true for those siblings who experience life at the intersections of racism, (trans) misogyny, and classism.

Non-Binary Leeds have worked with allied organisations across Leeds to create a space for the trans and non-binary community to come together with our friends and allies to mark those we’ve lost. Together with these organisations we will be hosting a memorial service on the evening of the 20th, followed by a candlelight vigil for the community. Mourn the dead, fight like hell for the living; let your remembrance be a commitment to do better by the most marginalised in our community.”

Kate Ward’s pronouns are She/Her

Joni Clark’s pronouns are They/Them/Their

As a provider of mental health and learning disability services, the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust acknowledges and addresses the inequalities which LGBT+ people face in society in order to better meet their healthcare needs.