Trans Day of Remembrance is a wake up call for more inclusive education

by Rain Preece
November 2022

A trans flag covered in flowers for Trans Day of Remembrance

My name is Rain. I picked it out myself. I wanted a name that wasn’t particularly tied down to male or female. This is because I am transgender, meaning my gender isn’t the same as the one that was assigned to me at birth. I wanted a name that would help me feel freer from gendered expectations.

I am really lucky that my family accepts me and loves me for who I am – many transgender people don’t have a family support network. Some individuals are often forced to hide who they really are or are shunned by family and friends, making them more vulnerable. Even with family support, trans people still face being targeted and subjected to violence.

We often pride ourselves on diversity in the UK but in reality there are rising levels of anti-LGBT+ violence and hate.

What is Trans Day of Remembrance?

Transgender Day of Remembrance takes place on 20 November every year. Originally created in 1999, the day commemorates the trans people who have lost their lives each year due to violence against us for just being ourselves.

The day began after Rita Hester, a Black trans woman, was killed. Trans people and allies gathered to hold a candlelit vigil in San Francisco, and Trans Day of Remembrance has continued to be marked as trans people continue to face violence. 375 trans and gender diverse people have been reported as being killed In the past 12 months.

Every year this list grows and grows, and I find this devastating. All humans are wonderfully unique, beautiful, and deserve to be safe and supported, including us trans folk. That people from such a diverse group – people like me – are being targeted just for simply being themselves.

Trans Day of Remembrance makes me feel scared for trans people

This makes me feel really upset and scared for the other trans people in the world.

I am often worried to tell people I am transgender, or correct them when they get my pronouns incorrect, because I’m scared of what their reactions will be. It shouldn’t be like this.

People deserve to be safe and supported no matter if they are deemed to be ‘different’ or not.

Being trans in school

As a trans person, I do and have faced many challenges in everyday life. At school I was ridiculed, laughed at and pushed against a sink, just for trying to use a bathroom.

In the end, I was too afraid to use either bathroom that I ended up not drinking water at school.

I felt unsafe using the boys’ bathroom, which would have been my preferred choice. However I also wasn’t welcome in the girls’ bathroom as I dress very masculine. In the end, I was too afraid to use either bathroom that I ended up not drinking water at school.

I see so much hate on social media that it honestly feels soul destroying. People attacking charities and celebrities for just associating themselves with trans people.

We need LGBT+ inclusive schools

I wish my school had educated their pupils about trans issues. I am so grateful that now, with the help of Just Like Us, I and many other young people are able to make a difference by delivering talks to school pupils. It gives me hope that even if one LGBT+ pupil heard my talk that they would feel less alone and feel represented. I also hope that the other pupils will be inspired to become allies and want to support their LGBT+ peers.

We live in such a brilliantly diverse world. I long for the day when we can all live in harmony and respect and celebrate our differences instead of persecuting and rejecting those who are seen as different.

Until then, we remember all the trans lives lost this past year. I hope the reality for trans people can look different next Trans Day of Remembrance.

Rain is a trans young person and a Just Like Us ambassador.

If you have been affected by any issues in this article, please reach out for helpline support from Childline or Switchboard.