Today marks Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). Every year on 20 November, clusters of people gather to remember the hundreds of transgender people whose lives were cut short by violence in the preceding year. In 2020, like everything else, the candles, the readings and the list of names will be Zoomed across the aether. But who are these people? It’s true that they were trans but overwhelmingly they were disadvantaged and living on the edge – often in prostitution – and mainly in the global south. It’s a far cry from the experiences of many trans people living in the relative safety of Britain.
Unions: not them; us.
“Think not what your union can do for you but what you can do for your union.” Actually when I went through gender reassignment, my thoughts were very much with what my union could do for me. I am a secondary school teacher, so my journey from he to she happened in front of hundreds of people. I’m grateful for the support of many people at work, but my union were superb. I knew that they were on my side because they were my union. That is what unions do, and their advice about the law and the various practical issues that I had to navigate was second to none.