(Contains mentions of various systematic forms of violence against trans women including incarceration. Image shows a purple and yellow pansy flower in focus, surrounded by several others out of focus)
This Tuesday is Trans Day of Remembrance/Resilience. It’s become something of a tradition, this ‘remembering’ of the trans folk (almost all young, poor, trans women of colour) murdered by transphobia, transmisogyny, poverty and racism in the last year.
While marking this is incredibly important (and definitely let’s talk about the systemic reasons behind this violence and then bring it all down) I would also like wider society to show up for trans women while we’re still alive.
Through various projects and initiatives I’ve been involved in, I’ve received hundreds of letters from incarcerated trans women this year. Mostly in men’s jails. Mostly going through hell. This year, I give my thoughts for those forgotten behind bars.
Trans struggle absolutely -is- anti-prison struggle. Transness and criminality go hand-in-hand because our existence itself is so often illegal and because our marginalisation – from employment and stable housing, from our families and healthcare – pushes us to criminality to survive.
We must remember those taken from us. By poverty and suicide, by murder and oppression, by HIV and neglect. And then let’s build the movement we need to end this violence.