Today 20th November, marks the Transgender day of remembrance which is commemorated internationally, every year in memory of all those killed as a result of Transphobia (the fear of transgender and gender non conforming people) to bring to attention the violence endured by transgender persons. This year’s theme is “Celebrating gender diversity and mainstreaming the transgender agenda: celebrating fallen soldiers, honouring heroes and heroines.
“Trans people often have limited options available to them. Many trans people face difficulty in taking the initial steps towards transitioning due to financial constraints because they are fired from jobs or don’t get jobs at all. Many of us lose our houses, families and friends and are in danger of assault even murder for transitioning. “If trans people are relieved of the suffering in being forced to live in the wrong gender, trans suicide, self denial and unnecessary death rates would drop.” Said Arthur Mubiru, The Trans coordinator of FARUG.
Transgender persons in Uganda are persecuted, discriminated, forced into marriages by their families and physically attacked in the communities they live; in their neighborhood and on the streets. It is the Trans gender who are usually targeted and beaten up as they are mistaken for homosexuals. This is a crucial time to rally allies, talk to families of transgender persons, educate the general public on the dangers of transphobia.
Though continued sensitization, perpetrators of hate crimes will gradually change their attitude towards trans folks. We pray that God touches the hearts of the persecutors, the politicians and religious fundamentalists who fuel the hatred and homophobia/ transphobia. We send out strength to all trans people and trans activists to not give up the struggle.