Activists take to streets as 375 trans people murdered this year

Dozens of protesters gathered at city hall to issue a powerful message: that trans rights are human rights

Dozens of protesters gathered at city hall to issue a powerful message: that trans rights are human rights - Credit: Michelle Savage

"There is an epidemic of violence and discrimination against trans people at the moment — and every single one of us is affected."

This was the message from Charlie Caine, a trans man, and Andrew Copeman, a transmasculine non-binary activist, who together organised a protest outside Norwich's City Hall on Saturday afternoon for Trans Day of Remembrance.

Official figures released on November 20 show 375 transgender people globally have been murdered so far in 2021 — making it the "deadliest year" since the Human Rights Campaign began recording the data in 2013.

Julie Bremner speaking at the city hall for Trans Day of Remembrance

Julie Bremner speaking at the city hall for Trans Day of Remembrance - Credit: James Burton

It is widely accepted the number could actually be much higher because of people being mis-gendered at death.

At one point, more than 100 people were out in support of the trans community in Norwich on Saturday, far exceeding the organisers' expectations.

"Trans Remembrance Day is when we remember all the trans people who have died over the last year due to discrimination and violence", 29-year-old Mr Copeman said.

Sing with Norwich Pride

Organisers Charlie Caine and Andrew Copeman stand first and second from the left on the steps at City Hall - Credit: Michelle Savage

"We didn't get to have our event last year because of the lockdown, so it was especially important we made our voices heard this year.

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"Statistics show the number of trans people being killed is going up — even though people seem more accepting of us than ever before.

"Trans men are highly likely to experience sexual violence, for example, while trans people generally are more likely to be in abusive domestic relationships.

Norwich Pride this year bought a giant flag for trans rights, which was unveiled at the protest

Norwich Pride this year bought a giant flag for trans rights, which was unveiled at the protest - Credit: James Burton

"Though not to the degree that they've lost their lives, every single trans person will have experienced discrimination or violence in some way.

"That's just a fact."

A collaborative art project saw people write their concerns and fears on an upcycled jacket

A collaborative art project saw people write their concerns and fears on an upcycled jacket, which Andrew Copeman plans to wear for future pride events - Credit: Michelle Savage

Mr Copeman said because transphobia "remains acceptable" online, bigoted people believe "it is okay to attack us".

"A lot of the time, people have suffered in their own relationships, and use their platforms to spread vile hatred about trans people as a whole".

Mr Caine, 40, echoed his partner.

The giant flag celebrating trans rights was unveiled at City Hall for the protest, which over a hundred people attended

The giant flag celebrating trans rights was unveiled at City Hall for the protest, which over a hundred people attended - Credit: Michelle Savage

He said: "Trans Remembrance Day is important as a way of standing in solidarity with those who've been murdered, but also putting pressure on institutions.

"In the UK, a lot of trans people suffer institutional discrimination, such as by the police, NHS or media.

"There is an epidemic of violence and it needs to change."

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