From the 43 of Ayotzinapa to the more than 223 lost to Transgender Violence

Yesterday the Memoria Viva Society of Edmonton joined approximately 130 Latin Americans, many of them from Mexico, to show solidarity for the missing 43 students of Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Mexico and the many others that have been made to disappear for expressing their hopes and desires for a better world for all.

Yesterday was also the 16th International Transgender Day of Remembrance, it has been the 10th year that this day has been observed in Edmonton. Yesterday it was reported that more than 223 important and valuable lives were lost to hate, intolerance and indifference throughout the world in 2014 to date.

This is not a subject that we often talk about in the Latin American community, but the time for silence is over. We are living in a time when even Pope Francis has declared that the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community must be respected. What of the progressives within our community? Where do we stand on this issue? Why have we not said more to defend the dignity and life of our trans family, friends, and community members? The time has come for us to speak up! It’s time to come together and remember transgender people we have lost and to find strength and courage as together we work towards change, acceptance and inclusion for all.

This year the majority of transgender people who were murdered were from Latin America, ironically its this region where most work is being done to create awareness about this issue. What does this say about tolerance in Latin America? It is also important to share that the number of those lost to hate and intolerance is under-reported. We need to do more here in Edmonton and also to share with our family and friends in Latin America that gender is broader than the role of a man or a woman that has been traditionally communicated to us through conservative institutions. We must reach out and continue to build a better world with all members of the LGBTQ community.

To find out more about this issue we recommend visiting “Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide” project,  where you can find more data, including tables, name lists, and maps.

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