Killed for who they really were: Kingston remembers those murdered for being transgender


Councillor Liz Green joined the LGBT Forum


By Hannah Pupkewitz

Murdered for their gender identity, hundreds of transgender people killed around the world were commemorated in Kingston last week.

The international day of remembrance for hate crimes honoured the lives of the 230 transgender people who were murdered worldwide in the last year.

Kingston’s LGBT Forum was joined by Kingston Councillor Liz Green to mark the day.

“It is vital that the shocking number of transgender people that are murdered each year is known,” said Charlie Parker, Chair of the Kingston LGBT Forum.

“We face a serious worldwide problem where our transgender family and friends cannot live in peace and safety.”

The names of those who have died over the past year were read out as well as poems and songs.

“It is truly shocking that so many people have been killed just because of their gender identity,” said Councillor Green.

“We took the time to remember those murdered in dreadful attacks just because of who they really are. It’s vital that we all work together to combat these crimes.”

Victims included those as young as 13 according to research by Transgender Europe.

Transgender individual Sam Lewis, 34, living in Brixton, said: “One’s gender identity like the colour of their skin, their nationality or ethnicity is beyond their control.

“People should not be attacked and victimised for something they cannot change. Nor should they want to change. They should be able to be proud of who they are.”

Homophobic and transgender hate crimes have risen by 29.4% in the last year in the South West London borough of Merton, according to Metropolitan Police Statistics.

Peter Kelley, service manager at Gallop, London’s leading anti-LGBT hate crime charity, said that the Transgender community need to be encouraged to come forward and report incidents of hate crime.

“Transgender victims of hate crime must be given access to the help and support they need,” said Mr Kelley.

He added that: “The wider public need to be educated and there needs to be a greater awareness that transphobic attacks are against the law.”

Photo courtesy of Peter aka anemoneprojectors, with thanks.

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