Monday 20th November is Transgender Day of Remembrance

This day was founded by Gwendolyn Ann Smith in 1998 to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a trans woman who was murdered due to transphobia and today we remember the bravery of those who have been tragically lost to transphobic violence.

The number of people losing their lives is rising

In the last twelve months more than 325 people lost their lives to transphobia and that number has been rising year on year. However, it’s not about numbers, these people were attacked due to hate and bigotry, by people with no acceptance of difference. No one should be bullied or attacked for trying to live authentically as their true selves, which is why Diversity Role Models aims to eliminate LGBT+ bullying in schools.

I believe that difference makes the world go around. The diversity of the human race is a wonderful thing - it may be our faith, race, culture, interests, who we are attracted to, our gender identity plus many more, the list is endless but whatever the difference, no one should ever have to hide who they are, or live in fear of others.

Since taking up my post as regional officer with DRM at the end of May 2017, I have seen the positive effect we have. I have been to schools where we have helped trans students feel comfortable enough to be who they are, out and proud.  Trans students who are now happier because they are able to be their authentic selves and know that their school and classmates will support them.

On this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance let us all remember those we have lost to ignorance and hate, but also not forget those who are trying to be their authentic selves. Let’s work together to reduce the number of trans deaths. Stand up to trans bullying - be that friend, that voice on the phone, that friendly smile, that person who shows acceptance of difference. Together we can stop trans bullying and attacks and create an inclusive environment for all.

Why the work DRM does is so important

DRM inspire young people to have integrity, to think critically about their own stereotypes and views and to consider how they might have a positive influence on those around them. Having an opportunity to ask questions and connect to someone very different from themselves is part of the educating process that breaks down prejudice as well as sending a positive message to LGBT+ students.

But it’s not just about the students – DRM also educates teachers, governors, parents and carers on how to create an environment in which everyone feels valuable and safe and are helped to understand the influence and responsibility they have to make future generations more inclusive. Sustained change happens when a whole school approach is taken.

There are many ways you can support us – to find out more click here