Edinburgh University hold an evening of remembrance for transgender people

The International Transgender Day of Remembrance takes place on the 20th November each year. It is a day to honour those who have lost their lives due to anti-transgender hatred and prejudice.

University of Edinburgh’s Staff Pride Network organised an evening with a reading by guest speaker and playwright, Elaine Gallagher, a screening of German movie Romeos (2011) and an open discussion about the issues raised in the movie with a selected panel of speakers.

The event was very well received. Photograph: Gina Maya

The day is held on 28 November in honour of Rita Hester who was murdered in 1998. The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves as a voice to raise public awareness of the general issue.

Gwendolyn Ann Smith, Transgender Day of Remembrance founder, said: “The Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence.

“I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost.

“With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”


Organiser representative and PhD student, Gina Maya, came out in 2016 in Edinburgh and have been helping others cope with their identity through writing about her journey here in Edinburgh.

She said: “The more unfamiliar your society is with notions of transgender, the more you’ll want to – need to – fit into one of two gender identities. The more you’ll need to pass; it’s a life-or-death kind of decision.”

“I’m grateful that my friends and flatmate came, that so many people came of different generations and backgrounds.”

“Allies and cis-gendered who were just curious, trans and non-binary, undergraduates, postgraduates, the girl from Lighthouse Books, even my PhD supervisor!”

The LGBT Youth Edinburgh team. Photograph: LGBT Youth Twitter

LGBT Youth Scotland is one of the few charities working towards a safer and understanding youth community in Scotland. They offer support for younger individuals who feel isolated or afraid and teach them to love themselves for who they are.

More information about their work and sessions can be found here.

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