“Remember, remember the fifth of November…” is a part of a popular poem said in honor of Guy Fawkes Day. On Nov. 5, 1605, Guy Fawkes and twelve conspirators had a plan to blow up King James I on the opening of Parliament, says the History Channel. His attempts were futile when Londoners found him in a cellar below the House of Lords with 36 barrels of gunpowder. Ever since that day, Nov. 5 has been a day to remember the people of England and is seen as their Thanksgiving. However, there’s another day of remembrance happening in November that needs more attention.
Nov. 20 is International Transgender Day of Remembrance. Transgender.org says that the day is used to memorialize people who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice. What defines a person as transgender? A person who is transgender is one who was assigned a gender at birth, but as they grow and discover themselves, they realize that that gender doesn’t fit them. A transgender person may say that they feel as if they were born in the wrong body. The Center for LGBT says that a person who is transgender doesn’t fit society’s idea of what a female or a male should look like. A transgender person may not always identify with one gender or another. Some people don’t understand a person who is transgender so they act out in irrational ways against them, sometimes committing various hate crimes against them. That is why the International Transgender Day of Remembrance exists.
The project started in 1999 after the murder of Rita Hester, an openly transgender woman who was violently murdered in her own home on Nov. 28, 1998. According to Buzzfeed, 238 trans people were murdered this past year. However, this is only the number of reports that were available through public documentation or local advocacy groups, so the numbers may be higher. This number includes the death of a 13-year-old and 14-year-old girl, both of whom died of strangulation in Brazil. Transgender Europe has documented the death of 1,374 trans people; 108 of these people were under the age of twenty.
The Millersville GSA is offering events leading up to and on the day of Nov. 20. On Nov. 18 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. there will be a “Trans 101” class offering knowledge on how to properly and politely address your transgender peers and to gain a slight insight into the daily of a trans person. Later that night at 7:00 p.m., there will be a screening of National Geographic’s “American Transgender” in Club De’Ville. The GSA will also have a table outside of the SMC to give out information and to sell ribbons that are dedicated to the remembrance of the lives lost to anti-transgender violence.