Editorial: Remember Trans Community All Year Long

Transgender Day of Remembrance is a time to memorialize members of the trans community who have been killed by acts of transphobic violence. It is a day to reflect on the tragic losses the trans community has suffered and to raise awareness about the unwarranted violence and ignorance that the trans community has endured.

But the trans community needs your support much more than just one day a year. In addition to the all-too-frequent hate crimes and hostility that pervade the trans community, the truth is that trans individuals face systemic and institutionalized oppression every single day.

The gender binary permeates our entire culture, from our healthcare to our schooling to our bathrooms—even our language is shaped by cisnormativity. Our society dominates and denies trans people’s existence.

Trans individuals are oppressed every time someone refers to them by anything other than their preferred gender pronouns. They are oppressed every time someone mistakenly tells them they are using the wrong restroom and every time someone denies them a job or housing because of their gender identity. They are oppressed every time a government office requires a physician’s note corroborating their proclaimed gender, and they are oppressed every time someone asks them invasive questions about their surgical status.

They are oppressed every time they are asked to check a box as simply “male” or “female.”

This Thursday, we hope you will honor the trans victims who have lost their lives to violence. But every other day of the year, we hope you will also make a conscious effort to create a world that is inclusive of all gender identities.