Transgender Day of Remembrance Memorial Gathering
Wellington, 20 November – Agender NZ held a public Day of Remembrance Memorial Gathering for transgendered people who have been victimised, harmed, or killed because of violence against people of different gender identities or presentations.
The Memorial Gathering was opened just after 7pm, by AgenderNZ Organisor and President, Claudia, who welcomed the 50+ people who turned up,
“… We felt it was a really, really important thing to acknowledge those of us that, basically, had our lives stolen from us.”
Candles were lit – each one representing a known or unknown person of different gender identities, who has been killed.
“The event itself started in San Francisco in 1999, and is now held in many places around the world.”
The gathering listened to Claudia and other speakers, who voiced their feelings on the loss of life around the world, and the harassment that many still experience.
“I want to acknowledge the courage of the people who have had their lives taken in this awful manner… there’s something about those people that their killers will never have. These people had either found their true selves or were on their way to finding their true selves. I truly doubt that those that took their lives will ever comprehend that, or have any real understanding of their own true self. If they did they would be very ashamed of themselves...”
Claudia said that whilst “transpeople in New Zealand generally do not fear for their lives… I can recall somebody that I knew, not very far from here, in Upper Hutt, two years ago, Dixie Jones, was brutally beaten to death. So we are not immune…“.
Claudia then introduced Brazilian-born, Dayna, to read out a list of 40 transgendered people, from many parts of the world, who had been killed. Dayna revealed that she was in pain at having to read out a roll call of so many victims, but regardless, spoke with a quiet passion and dignity, reciting nearly 40 names, along with their ages, and their country.
Many were young people, in their teens. The youngest was 16.
Dayna started with Charmine Rosa, 25 years old…
As Dayna read out the names, the secretary of AgenderNZ – Denise – knelt, and blew out a candle. The snuffing of each candle symbolised the senseless snuffing of a human life.
At the same time, Claudia rang the bell – once – for each victim,
At the end of Dayna’s roll call, Claudia added,
“… the last time I did one of these was in 2007. The list was seventeen names. It’s not a good look that it’s now up to thirtynine. We still have a lot of work to do.”
Claudia then invited people from the gathering to come up to the microphone and express their thoughts and feelings.
First up, Kay spoke on behalf of two people, Ashley and Julianne Kramer – the latter having been killed on 8 November, in a helicopter crash in the South Island.
Kay spoke of the double tragedy regarding Julianne’s circumstances; her death; and the fact that her family wanted her described as a male and previous name, “Julian”,
“I’m just going to mention another friend, whose life was taken from her. Not because of the manner of her death recently, but Julianne, when she died in a helicopter accident, her family couldn’t bear to live with her as Julianne and so they got the newspaper to use her earlier name, and to take back the life that she had built for herself, take it from her in her death.
So I wanted to remember the life that Julianne had made for herself, not the life that her family had tried to push upon her.”
Remy told us of three young people who – under pressure from constant bullying – had over the last year either attempted or eventually committed suicide. Their ages ranged from 17, 19, and 21.
Alexandria (tall woman with a cap on), led a group to the microphone.
She lit two bright pink candles – one for Ashley, had been a former flatmate and, one for Andre.
Alexandria spoke warmly of Ashley, her vibrance, her love of pink, and how she tried to cope with systemic rejection but how it was too much for her. She said that Ashley had died because of disrespect by authorities and the hospital. Alexandria was accompanied by friends who knew Ashley.
Alexandria also spoke about her late partner, Andre, who died from health complaints and who had also encountered the negative pressures from authorities. (Acknowledgement, Kay, for further details.)
And others who had the courage and/or need to say something,
Claudia with Green MP, Mojo Mathers, who attended the gathering in a supportive capacity,
Claudia thanked everyone for turning up to the gathering and being part of the Memorial.
As Dayna said,
“We all bleed the same blood, it’s the same colour and it’s unfair of people to attack us…
… we’re all human at the end of the day and we all cry the same salty-tasted tears and we all bleed. This is my gender, this is what I am.”
Copyright (c) Notice
All images are freely available to be used, with following provisos,
- Use must be for non-commercial purposes.
- Where purpose of use is commercial, a donation to Child Poverty Action Group is requested.
- At all times, images may be used only in context, and not to denigrate individuals.
- Acknowledgement of source is requested.
= fs =
For a better New Zealand…
~ Cleaner rivers
~ No deep-sea oil drilling
~ Less on Roads - more on Rail
~ A Living wage at $19.25/hr
~ Marriage equality - Yay! Got that one!
~ Strong, effective Unions
~ No secret free-trade deals
~ Breakfast/lunches in our schools
~ Introducing Civics into our school curriculum
~ Cut back on the liquor industry
~ A fairer, progressive tax system
~ Fully funded, free healthcare
~ Ditto for education, including Tertiary
~ Fund Pharmac for Pompe's Disease medication & other 'orphan' drugs
~ No state asset sales!
~ Rebuild public TV broadcasting!
~ Keeping farms in local ownership
~ Reduce poverty, like we reduced the toll for road-fatalities
~ Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
~ Being nice to each other
- Trumpwatch: The Drum(pf)s of War
- The Mendacities of Mr English – Social Services under National’s tender mercies
- Trumpwatch: Muslims, mandates, and moral courage
- Trumpwatch: Voter fraud, Presidential delusions, and Fox News
- Cutting taxes toward more user-pays – the Great Kiwi Con
- St John management applies tourniquet to workers’ throats
- Letter to the editor – Juliet Moses does NOT speak on my behalf!
- The Legacy of a Dismantled Prime Minister
- Trump escalates, Putin congratulates
- Protestors condemn Russian involvement in atrocities in Aleppo
- The Sweet’n’Sour Deliciousness of Irony: Russia accused of meddling in US Election
- Charter Schools in a Post-Truth Era
- The Dismantling of a Prime Minister – Completed
- The Mendacities of Mr Key # 19: Tax Cuts Galore! Money Scramble!
- The Rise of Great Leader Trump
- An earthquake separates John Key and ‘The Iron Lady’, Margaret Thatcher
- When Life is a Lottery
- The seductiveness of Trumpism
- 2016 – Ongoing jobless tally and why unemployment statistics will no longer be used
- Black Ops from the SIS and FBI?
- Expose: Winston Peters; the 1997 speeches; and neo-liberal tendencies
- Letter to the editor – Do National voters want us to be tenants in our own country?
- Congratulations Dr Smith!!
- Special Education Funding – Robbing Peter, Paul, and Mary to pay Tom, Dick, and Harriet
- New Zealand – we’re in the sh*t
- We don’t want to send the wrong message – John Key
- National exploits fudged Statistics NZ unemployment figures
- Is Karl du Fresne happy now?
- “Spinning” in a post-truth era
- Letter to the editor – Plunket and the slow strangulation of community organisations
- February 2017
- January 2017
- December 2016
- November 2016
- September 2016
- August 2016
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
- March 2016
- February 2016
- January 2016
- December 2015
- November 2015
- October 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- December 2014
- November 2014
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- 444,180 hits