Trans Day Of Remembrance with Addison Barnett

This week our Senior Inclusion and Diversity consultant, Addison Barnett, explains the purpose of Trans Day Of Remembrance and reflects on what it means to him as a trans person.  

Trans Day Of Remembrance (TDOR) is an annual event that honours the memory of the trans people whose lives were lost in acts of transphobic violence during the previous 12 months. TDOR started in 1999 as a vigil organised by trans activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith to honour the memory of Rita Hester, a trans woman who was murdered in 1998.

As a trans person, TDOR is an important time for silence and reflection. It is also quite a tough day to get through as it brings into sharp focus the risk my siblings in the trans community face. I am in a  privileged position in that I am valued and cared for by my employer, I have a supportive community around me and as a white trans man with minimal public profile I am often invisible and therefore broadly safe from transphobia and abuse. However this does not mean that the seemingly endless torrent of transphobia on social media and in the Press doesn’t get me down, or that there isn’t a part of me that worries I will face hostility whenever I have a speaking engagement or panel discussion. Increasingly the advancement of trans rights is becoming an area that the trans community cannot assume ‘like-minded people’ around us will support, and employers cannot take it for granted that trans people in their organisation feel safe at work.

Here at Inclusive Employers we work hard to ensure trans inclusion informs all of our work, and this year we’re taking that further by releasing our trans inclusion statement and, over the coming months, expanding the ‘trans inclusion’ section of our website. We have released a ‘trans myth busting’ factsheet in time for TDOR to help combat some of the myths about trans and non-binary people that have unfortunately made it into mainstream discourse in the last few years. You can access the factsheet here or email members@inclusiveemployers.co.uk for your copy. Finally, we hope you join us for our webinar ‘Trans Day of Remembrance and Trans Inclusion’ on Tues Nov 17th, 2-3pm.