Galop was honoured to attend Transgender Day of Remembrance on 21 November in solidarity with trans people.
The event was well attended, the names of those murdered were read out and candles were lit in their memory so that their lives are noticed. Galop Chief Executive, Deborah Gold, also spoke at the event, the transcript of her speech is below.
We are all touched by violence. It touches us when we are attacked or abused on the streets. It touches us when we are shouted at, spat at, threatened. It touches us when people we know, people we love, are belittled, punched, kicked, assaulted, and murdered. It touches us when we feel fear – when we are afraid of people we don’t know, or when we try to lessen our fear by being less than who we are – disguising part of ourselves. We make ourselves safe in some ways, but we risk a greater danger – a danger that we let fear become who we are.
Today, on trans day of remembrance, we are here to remember, and respect, those who have gone before us, those whose lives have been ended because of the violence of others. Remembering in this way is important, it allows us to value each of our lives, each of our contributions. It allows us to recognize the way in which our lives touch each other, and leave indelible marks on our friends, our families, our neighbours, our colleagues and our communities.
But in remembering, and in respecting, we also take this chance to stand together in saying no. We say that that we will not allow the violence of others, and our fear of that violence to change who we are. We will not allow it to prevent us from living our lives fully, and freely. In coming here, in paying our respects, in standing together as brothers, sisters, friends and allies, we say that this has to end.
Some of you may know that I am here from an organization called Galop. Some of you may know what we do at Galop – some of you may not have heard of us before. We work across London to end transphobic and homophobic crime. We offer help and support to trans people, as well as lesbian, gay and bisexual people, who have been the victim of any kind of crime, or who are unhappy with the way that the police have treated them. We speak out to the government and the police, to let them know that the law isn’t good enough, and policing at the moment isn’t good enough. We deserve, we expect, more. Our job, is to keep saying, loudly, that this has to end.
Until it has ended, our job is also to make sure that you get the help, advice and support you need if you experience transphobia. Tell us – so that we can tell our stories, and keep telling them until people listen and change happens.
Fear and violence affect us all in different ways, and in this way, we are all alone. This is the very worst that can happen to us, to allow transphobia to win, and to allow it to separate us from our communities, from each other. Because when we come together, on days like today, in organizations like Galop and the many others that are fighting with us, in groups with our friends, with our allies, when we come together we are stronger, we are not beaten. We stand together to remember, to respect, and to withdraw our consent.