Almost everywhere in the world it is unsafe for people who are transgender. In many countries they are discriminated against by law or even not recognized. During Transgender Awareness Week, from 13 to 19 November, we want to draw attention to this.
Excluding transgender people promotes hatred and violence. Hundreds of people are killed every year as a result of transphobia. For example, the average life expectancy of transgender women in Latin America, where so many of these attacks take place, is 35.
Transgender Memorial Day
On Transgender Remembrance Day on November 20, we honor the victims of this violence. We reflect on their lives and stories, such as the courageous Bessy Ferrera. She was fatally shot in Honduras in 2019. She was our partner and an example to many. What she most wanted and what she fought for was respect for the most basic human rights.
Many of our colleagues knew Bessy personally and wanted to do something after her death. In consultation with her family, we decided to set up a fund in her name so we can continue with her struggle. This special emergency fund enables us to act immediately when LGBTIQ+ activists are in danger. Think of threats, robberies, evictions and lawsuits. Any number of situations where their safety is seriously at risk.
Legal recognition of trans rights
Social and legal recognition is not a given for many transgender people. That’s why we’re working closely with the trans community around the world to change this. Thanks to the support of our private donors in the Netherlands, we have, for example, already helped more than 90 transgender people in Bolivia to start the process of changing their official identity records. Together with our local partners, we carry on the fight for trans rights worldwide.
Making gender a topic for discussion
All over the world, trans people are misunderstood. This often leads to exclusion, stigmatization and even violence. We try to counter that with our work. For example, by collaborating with unexpected allies like politicians and companies. We want to make gender a topic of discussion. That is why we made an important documentary on the subject, m/f/x. By showing it around the world, we make diversity visible and encourage viewers to embrace acceptance.
What can you do?
Learn about gender diversity, show your support and speak out, and stand up for transgender people, activists and organizations working for the community.