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Humanists UK to hold first Trans Day of Remembrance Ceremony

Humanists UK celebrant and patron Adèle Anderson will lead the Trans Day of Remembrance ceremony

On 20 November Humanists UK will mark Trans Day of Remembrance for the first time in a specially created humanist ceremony organised by its section LGBT Humanists at the unconsecrated ‘Fitzrovia Chapel’, a secular space in central London.

The ceremony will remember and pay tribute to those who have lost their lives in acts of violence against transgender people and to the contributions of transgender people to society. It joins a Humanists UK calendar which includes annual events for Darwin Day in February, International Women’s Day in March, Remembrance Day in November, and International Human Rights Day in December.

The ceremony will open with short talks focusing on issues surrounding the human rights of transgender people and discrimination and prejudice against them, to be given by Humanists UK patron and humanist celebrant Adèle Anderson and Lizzie Streeter, Chair of LGBT Humanists. This will be followed by a vigil in which the names of transgender victims of violence will be read out. Music will by provided by the London Humanist Choir.

Begun in 1999 by trans rights advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith, Trans Day of Remembrance is an annual observance rallying opposition to violence and bigotry against trans people. The ceremony this year takes place during Transgender Awareness Week, where people and organisations around the UK will raise awareness and address issues that face transgender people.

Humanists UK patron Adèle Anderson commented, ‘This ceremony is an occasion not only to pay tribute to the victims of prejudice, discrimination, and violence against trans people, but also to reflect on the progress of trans rights and to look with hope to a future in which the bigotry and maltreatment we experience will have been consigned to the history books. At this year’s ceremony there will be a reading of the names of those who have died as a result of transphobic attacks, and it is my hope that in the coming years there will be no new names added to the list.’

LGBT Humanists Vice Chair Lizzie Streeter commented, ‘This is an occasion to remember and mourn the trans people in the UK and around the world who have been murdered this year due to transphobic violence. Trans women from minority ethnic backgrounds in particular are subjected to gender motivated violence – in the US the life expectancy for trans women from minority ethnic backgrounds is, shockingly, just 35. In London in 2018, Naomi Hersi was murdered aged 36.

‘As LGBT Humanists we stand for empathy and concern for the rights of all people and their freedom to live as they choose while not harming others, and we wanted to to reflect together on how we can do more as a community to support trans people, and to share our outrage at the violence being perpetrated against trans people every day.

‘We are a humanist group but we welcome people of all beliefs to join us for this ceremony in solidarity and support.’

Notes

For further comment or information contact Humanists UK’s Director of Community Services Teddy Prout at teddy@humanism.org.uk or 0207 324 3060.

You can book your place at the LGBT Humanists Trans Day of Remembrance ceremony at https://humanism.org.uk/events/trans-remembrance-2018/

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

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