Transgender people murdered as world resists change

Thu Nov 17, 2011 9:52am GMT

By Rebekah Curtis

LONDON (Reuters) - Ever since she can remember, Katherine Cummings knew she had been born into the wrong body.

"I knew I was transgendered as far back as memories go," said the 76-year old, formerly called John, who works at Australia's Gender Centre for people with gender issues. "Four years of age or so."

Since her 1930s childhood, the lives of transgender people have improved dramatically in many countries. But discrimination remains widespread. Hundreds of transgender people are killed every year and many live in constant fear of attack.

"Transgenders often suffer violence, physical and social, from their families, including spouses, parents, children and siblings," Cummings said.

She spoke to Trustlaw ahead of the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) on November 20 which commemorates those who have been killed because of their gender identity.

Founded after the 1998 murder of transgender woman Rita Hester in Massachusetts, the day now has a global following.

In the first nine months of 2011, 116 transgender people were murdered globally, according to Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM), a project coordinated by non-profit association Transgender Europe.

Their research indicates there have been at least 681 reports of murders in 50 countries since 2008.   Continued...

Powered by Reuters AlertNet. AlertNet provides news, images and insight from the world's disasters and conflicts and is brought to you by Reuters Foundation.