Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) takes place every year, on November 20. The purpose is to pay homage to the memory of all trans people who lost their lives because of transphobia or became victims of violence of transphobia.
A week before TDoR, many organizations, activists and individuals held a week of awareness on trans people worldwide the aim of which is to promote awareness and speak up about the problems of the trans community.
What is Transgender Day of Remembrance.
The day was launched on 1999, a year after the murder of a trans woman, Rita Hister in 1998. This happened due to the efforts of Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a trans activist and lawyer. Since then, various events have taken place in more than 100 countries and societies.
“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence. I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice”, said Gwendolyn Ann Smith.
Armenia is not an exception in terms of homophobia and transphobia. For years, the conservative, political and homophobic groups have been chasing, attacking and beating trans people on virtual platforms through outing and campaigns of hate speech targeting trans individuals. Moreover, they make attempts to murders them.
“DiverCity” NGO has reported many cases to the police. It is the least we can do.
Moreover, 28-year-old transgender woman, Adrianna was brutally killed in her apartment in Yerevan recently, in August. President of “DiverCity” NGO, human rights defender Artak Adam made a post in their Instagram account about the tragic case.
Fortunately, a few hours later, the police managed to find and arrest the suspect, who was trying to leave the country. According to them, the 26-year-old man had hit Adriana with a sharp piercing-cutting tool, after which he set fire to the apartment to hide his tracks, and after being arrested, he confessed it all. Additionally, as the investigator reported, both the murder suspect and the victim are from the same settlement of Armavir region. A criminal case was opened in relation to the incident based on articles of murder and damage or destruction of property, but transphobia and homophobia were not taken into account as aggravating conditions.
Adrianna’s murder appeared on the media and the comments were filled with hate speech such as «all hail the murderer», «all of them should be killed in one place», «what a pity he didn’t manage to escape on time», «he did it right» and so on. Moreover, since 2022 according to the constitution of criminal law hatred and intolerance «based on personal or social premises» are considered to be aggravating circumstances apart from «racial, national, ethnic discrimination». Furthermore, the next day, when representatives of the LGBTQ+ community held a candlelight vigil in Conservatory Park in memory of the murdered and burned trans woman Adriana, a group of young men attacked them, throwing stones, glass bottles and eggs.
Regarding the attack, human rights defenders Artak Adam and Lilit Martirosyan, who are engaged in the protection of the rights and interests of LGBTQ+ individuals, reported the crime at the police center department.
As many times, this time too, we speak out about violence, homophobia and transphobia against LGBTQ+ people: on the other hand, we remember all those trans people who have become victims of transphobic bigotry and hatred. We emphasize the importance of talking about the presence of rooted transphobia and its consequences and call on everyone not to be silent and to fight for existence.