The 265 transgender people murdered in the last year are being honoured today; the 14th International Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Since 1999, the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), on which those trans people who have been victims of homicide are remembered, takes place every November 20th.

The TDOR aims to raise public awareness of hate crimes against trans people, provides a space for public mourning and honours the lives of those trans people who might otherwise be forgotten.

According to Transgender Europe’s Trans Murder Monitoring project, this year, 265 trans people – all killed between November 15 2011 and November 14 2012 – have been added to the list of those to be remembered, mourned and honoured.

This compares to 162 trans murders in 2009, 179 murders in 2010 and 221 murders in 2011.

The project documented reports of murdered or killed trans people in 29 countries in the last 12 months, with the majority from Brazil (126), Mexico (48), and the USA (15), followed by Venezuela (9), Honduras (8), Colombia (6), Uruguay (6) and Guatemala (5).

In Asia most reported cases have been found in India (6), Pakistan (5) and the Philippines (4), and in Europe in Turkey (5).

In South Africa there were two reported murders of trans people in the last 12 months.

“Yet, we know,” said Transgender Europe, “even these high numbers are only a fraction of the real figures; the truth is much worse.”

It explained that “These are only the reported cases, which could be found through internet research. In most countries, data on murdered trans people are not systematically produced and it is impossible to estimate the numbers of unreported cases.”

TDOR was first marked to honour Rita Hester who was murdered on November 28 1998. She was a well-known member of the transgender community in Boston, USA, where she worked on education around transgender issues.

Hester was stabbed 20 times in her apartment and her murder remains unsolved. The day is now recognised in many parts of the world.

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