It is absolutely critical that transgender people take ownership of our lives from birth to grave.
And in so much as we appreciate HRC becoming the new goto for media outlets regarding trans murders, and as easy as it would be to continue allowing them to do so, we can not allow our legacy to be shaped by any entity outside of our influence.
That is why we choose to honor not only Anna-Jayne but a group of activists. They are on Facebook in a group called Trans Violence News. This global group of trans activists daily translates the world’s 6,500 languages, wading through the ever-present misgendering and deadnaming, fact-checking with social media, and report on those murders to the group. There are 370 murdered trans people identified by the group this past TDoR, so no small feat.
Then comes the critical part we mentioned before.
Anna-Jayne Metcalfe collates the reports from group members with reports from Transgender Europe and publishes about each victim individually and in-depth on the website tdor.translivesmatter.info . This gives us an all-inclusive in-depth list so that we may properly #SayTheirNames during the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) events.
This effort resulting in accuracy and ownership hasn’t gone unnoticed.
This year The Hill, published an article titled “At least 26 transgender people were killed in America this year, but the number is likely higher“.
In it, author Anagha Srikanth noted that while HRC reported 26 murders and Transrespect Versus Transphobia reported 30 murders, Trans Lives Matters reported that there were 37 trans people murdered in the United States this year.
*Note to editors. Transgender people mourn our dead on the TDoR which is November 20. The time period in which trans murderers are tallied is between 1 October to 30 September. Reporting on trans murders as ‘yearly’ creates confusion.
This is where taking responsibility for our lives matters. Anna-Jayne Metcalfe reports transgender suicides along with wrongful deaths regardless of the victim’s national origin that was committed by a second party.
Trans suicides are the result of family and societal rejection, discrimination, and intimidation all things that could, like a knife, be put into a sheath.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among all teens and young adults in the U.S., researchers noted in a recent study.
To assess the connection between gender identity and suicide risk, researchers examined survey data collected between 2012 and 2015 from more than 120,000 youth nationwide ranging in age from 11 to 19.
Participants were 15 years old on average, and less than 1 percent of them identified as transgender.
Overall, nearly 14 percent of the participants said they had attempted suicide, researchers report in Pediatrics.
Roughly half of transgender teens who identify as male but were assigned a female gender at birth have attempted suicide at least once, the study found. And 42 percent of adolescents who don’t identify exclusively as male or female have at least one prior suicide attempt.
About 30 percent of trans female teens – who identify as female but have birth certificates that label them as male – have tried suicide at least once, as have 28 percent of adolescents who are questioning their gender identity, the study also found.
“Our findings are startling,” said study leader Russell Toomey of the University of Arizona in Tucson.
“It’s possible trans teens might have a higher suicide risk as a result of being marginalized or experiencing discrimination, victimization or harassment,” Toomey said.
“For transgender youth, we know, for example, that peer, school, community, and family-based rejection, discrimination, and victimization are associated with greater risk for suicidal behaviors,” Toomey noted. “Transgender youth might respond to these experiences by internalizing this rejection (e.g., shame), feeling like a burden to others, or perceiving that they do not belong.”
The other trans and HRC generated TDoR reports don’t include suicides. perhaps out of shame (sucide=weakness) combined with the real fear the numbers would be red meat for conservative media which called the American Medical Associations declaration of trans murders an ‘epidemic’ as ‘phony’ and ‘meaningless’.
The shame and fear ends here.
Not talking about trans or cis suicide doesn’t solve anything. That is why by owning our legacy we are shaping our future.
This time-intensive and often gruesome thankless group effort wouldn’t be as successful if not for the group Admins and members and Anna-Jayne Metcalfe our trans woman of the year. To each and everyone at Trans Violence News, a heartfelt thank you.