Cardiff’s trans community celebrated the Transgender Day of Remembrance with a day-long vigil.
The transgender community in Cardiff held a vigil outside the Welsh Senedd to remember hundreds of transgender people violently killed this year.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance was celebrated on Wednesday by the local trans community as they lit candles and created a temporary art installation comprised of women’s shoes as members and allies gathered in small numbers in front of the Senedd.
Helena Dawn Evans, a 59-year old activist from Wales said, “They are heavily marginalised within the community and they’re forgotten but they are vibrant, beautiful souls and the world is poorer because they’re not here. We are here. We are vibrant.”
Helena said, “There is definitely an increase in transgender and transphobic hate crime and its partly the media’s attention that has brought us out into the limelight, which can be a positive thing but, if there is a lot of misinformation going out there then people begin to do things like question whether we have validity in society.”
Helena, along with Jenny Charles has been working with allies within the Welsh government in order to raise the issues important to their community, in Wales.
According to reports, trans identity hate crimes have risen by 37 percent in England and Wales.
AM Jeremy Miles, a long-term advocate of LGBT+ rights in the National Assembly said, “We are here to recall the violence which has lead to those lives lost and is not something which comes from nowhere but it is the end product of all those acts of discrimination and exclusion that our friends in the trans-community experience, many days of their lives.”
He also said that the party members in the assembly have been advocates for gender identity service, for self-identification, for inclusive education and finally, for recognising that anti-trans hate crime and other forms of LGBT hate crime should finally be recognised as aggravated offences.
Boyd Clarke, a Plaid Cymru candidate for Cardiff West who was also in attendance said, “I don’t care what colour they are, I don’t care what sexual orientation they are, I don’t care where they are from and I don’t care what their religion is. You are either a good person or you’re not.”
The vigil went on from around seven in the morning until seven in the evening and the event was rounded off with a couple of musical performances which ended with rounds of applause.