by Justin Tanis | So many lives lost, so many transgender people subjected to violence … the Transgender Day of Remembrance gives us an opportunity to memorialize those who have died as a result of hatred and prejudice. It is also a time when we can consider what we can each do to end the violence.
Each person who was murdered as a result of hate-motivated violence was someone’s child, partner, friend and colleague; violence reaches beyond the victim and impacts all of us. In fact, hate crimes have a devastating effect on others, spreading fear throughout communities. And each person killed means a loss of their ideas, dreams, friendship and work.
So what can we do about it? First, anything we can do to create a climate of welcome and respect for transgender people makes the world safer for all of us. We can ensure that our workplaces have policies that protect transgender people from discrimination and we can advocate for trainings to help people understand their transgender co-workers. We can act as allies and speak up if a transgender person is being put down. We can teach the children in our lives about the value of differences.
Second, we can address the needs of transgender people for jobs. In the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, a quarter of the respondents had lost a job because of prejudice, setting off a cycle of negative outcomes, such as losing a home or having decreased health. And when a prejudiced manager or supervisor terminates an employee simply because of their biases, their employer must bear the burden of hiring and training a new employee.
Please, take a moment today to remember all of those who have suffered violence simply because they are transgender. Remember those who have died. And make a commitment today to stand up and do what you can to make the world safer for transgender people.