Transgender Day of Remembrance - Africa

November 20, 2008

CAPE TOWN — 20 November 2008 marks the 10th annual International Transgender Day Of Remembrance, commemorating those who were killed due to anti transgender hatred or prejudice. The event is held in November to honour Rita Hester whose murder on November 28th 1998 inspired the "Remembering our Dead". This year the Trans Africa movement is remembering not only those who passed away but also those who are victim and survivors of Transphobia and hate speech from our societies.

Due to the fact that most cases of murders related to transphobia are not documented in the majority of African countries, we are not able to list all incidents but would like to reflect on some known incidents. For over a year one of our trans sisters in Nigeria suffered severe transphobia, as she was continually harassed, beaten, and had to flee for her life. On 2 July 2008, Daisy Dube, a well known drag artist in Johannesburg, was murdered when she asked the perpetrator to not call her istabane anymore (a derogative Zulu slang word, similar to faggot). To mention just two cases reported to us.

TDOR takes place 5 days before the start of 16 days of activism, and we, the Africa Transgender Network and Gender DynamiX want to point out to include the importance of raising awareness about transgender, transsexual and gender non-conforming matters

This press release serves the following purposes:
1. To commemorate those who have died due to Transphobia, across the world.
2. To acknowledge our many African brothers and sisters who are silenced about their gender identity and living daily in danger of their lives.
3. To increase public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people and to publicly condemn all those involved in these acts. 4. To call upon governments to protect gender non-conforming people.
5. To encourage and stand together with all those in the fight against Transphobia.

The day will be commemorated in different countries at different times. The Trans Africa Network and Gender DynamiX however will commemorate the day in Cape Town on the 12th of December 2008. – Issued by Gender DynamiX

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