Article Title:Hope burns brightly
Author or Credit:Jacqui Stanford
Published on:29th November 2011 - 02:33 pm
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Story ID:11123
Text:The ongoing hatred and violence towards trans people, and the courage and hope shown in the face of it, will be highlighted at gatherings across the country tonight. Services are being held in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch in a delayed marking of Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is held across the globe to commemorate the lives of those killed internationally through transphobic or gender identity-related violence. The day creates awareness of the marginalisation of trans people and is an opportunity for the trans community and its allies to join together to celebrate courage and promote acceptance. Internationally, there have been 221 deaths during 2011 related to hate or bias on the basis of gender identity. This amounts to three trans people being killed every five days. The TransRespect versus Transphobia campaign has collected worldwide data since January 2008, documenting 755 reports of murdered trans people worldwide. It includes New Zealander Diksy Jones who died in April 2009. Two men have been jailed for Jones' manslaughter. "Transgender Day of Remembrance reminds us of the devastating impact that prejudice against trans people can have," says GenderBridge Chair Jaimie Veale, "It’s a chance for whakawāhine, tangata ira tane, fa’afafine, leiti and trans people to come together with our communities and create awareness.” In Auckland, a service will be held at St Matthew-in-the-City this evening from 7PM. Speakers include Tom Hamilton, Director of Rainbow Youth, and Jack Byrne from the Human Rights Commission. The Human Rights Commission has marked this year's Transgender Day of Remembrance by releasing a poster celebrating the diversity of trans people and reinforcing the message trans people have the same rights as everyone else. Performances will include dance by fa’afafine dance crew D’Mynority and a song by Maori television presenter and singer-songwriter Ramone Te Wake. There will also be a candlelit vigil. In Wellington, the group The Queer Avengers is holding a public gathering at 6PM in Civic Square, and all who want to end to violence against people because their gender identity or expression are welcome to join them. Sparklers and candles will be lit, as those gathered reflect on the people who have been subjected to transphobic violence in the last year, including those people who have died as a result. In Christchurch, the recently reopened Te Whare Puakitanga / Transition House will be holding a community meeting from 7PM till 9PM tonight. Contact Cherise Witehira on (03) 372-9298 or for the address. Agender Waikato and Hamilton Pride, held a gathering at the Riff Raff statue on the official Transgender Day of Remembrance, 20 November. Jacqui Stanford - 29th November 2011    
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