Today is the annual Trans Day of Remembrance, a day to remember and honour the lives of trans and gender-diverse people reported murdered in the past 12 months. The rates of abuse and violence against trans people are as unacceptably high in the Netherlands as elsewhere — estimated to be seven times above the Dutch average. Systematic and systemic discrimination, poverty, and homelessness compound the vulnerability. This evening, we will join the online vigil and life ceremony hosted by Trans United Europe and the Trans BPOC Network, which marks Trans Day of Remembrance. The event begins at 6:45 pm, and you can join us here:

Over this year, 351 trans people have been reported killed globally. The actual number is likely far higher. As Chair of Trans United Europe/Trans BPOC Network Dinah de Riquet-Bons puts it, “one killing of a trans sibling is one too many”.

Just last Wednesday, 25 year old trans woman Özge Bilir was brutally killed in Utrecht. Her murder has struck the trans community like a bomb. The police and media are still refusing to acknowledge her case as a transmoord or hate crime, because they claim not to have proof (yet) that her gender was motive for the murder.

We need to acknowledge that there is trans misogyny and also racism at play here. These attitudes are so ingrained in our culture and run so deep at a conscious but also unconscious level, that the idea of not calling it a hate crime because it’s not so explicitly is absurd and shows a complete lack of understanding of how systemic discrimination works. We hope for everyone close to Özge and the broader LGBTQ community that police and media will acknowledge this murder for what it is – and that the vigil and life ceremony brings both comfort and determined hope for the future.