Report and Speech from the vigil for Trans Day of Remembrance in Dresden

At the invitation of tin*-network Dresden, a vigil for the victims of anti-trans violence took place again in Dresden on 20th of November. Starting at 3pm, around 100 people came together on Alaunplatz to mourn and commemorate. According to Transgender Europe’s monitoring, 327 homicides of trans and gender-diverse people have been made public in the past 12 months. After the suicide of Ella N. in 2021, with Malte C. there was a victim in Germany in the current reporting period, again.

The mourning rally was overshadowed by the shocking news from Colorado Springs (USA), where at least five people were killed and 18 injured by an armed perpetrator in Club Q on Sunday night. On 20 November, an event was to take place at the queer club for Transgender Day of Remembrance.

At the vigil, the names of the victims were written down in chalk and a minute of silence was held. Many of the mourners had brought candles and flowers which were placed by the names. The two-hour rally was accompanied by speeches and a song sung together with the protest choir. In addition to reports about ongoing transphobic attacks in Germany, the importance of mutual support was also pointed out.

“We have to unite our struggles, because it is necessary to overcome all discrimination. Not least because many of our murdered siblings were affected by more than one form of oppression. In this year, too, the data indicates the worrying trend that misogyny, racism, hostility against strangers and stigmatisation of sex workers are linked to each other. The predominating part of victims are women of colour, migrant women and sex workers.” was stated in the introductory words to the vigil.

A contribution by the Löbtau Anti-Fascist Initiative reminded of the importance of resistant activism and asked for “unity in diversity” against oppression. The hope of being able to protect oneself individually from everyday exclusion, right-wing hatred and structural violence by hiding or adapting to social expectations and norms might be understandable, but also futile. With reference to the Stonewall Riots, on the other hand, the importance of feminist self-awareness and lived anti-fascist solidarity was emphasised.

As Queer Pride Dresden, we were very happy to be able to support the day of remembrance. We document our greeting for the vigil:

What brings us together today? The invitation mentioned a number. A dry, statistical value, a sum in a painstakingly kept table.
But behind the number 327 lie destinies, behind the names on the list are people, lives, future plans, struggles and social relationships. All of these have been erased, and all that remains is remembrance.
327 is a data point, sober, seemingly emotionless. But encoded in this data point is the pain of loss, the pain behind all what could have been, that wanted to be, indeed should have been – and yet is no more.
The feelings of grief, of anger and despair, of resignation and resistance are hard to put into words and even harder to bear.
As Queer Pride Dresden, as trans people and allies, we can only try to stand together in solidary support.

On the occasion of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, we want to extend our sympathy to all friends and relatives, whether in families of origin or choice. Our thoughts are with them. We wish them strength and we want to assure: you are not alone in your grief!

We stand together in memory of the victims of anti-trans hostility. 
We stand together in the struggle for equality, for recognition and safety.
In the struggle for our lives and our freedom, no one is forgotten!

In Germany, too, there was another victim of transphobic hatred this year.
Early in the morning on September 2nd, Malte C. died in hospital. He succumbed to his injuries a few days after the brutal attack near Münster CSD.

As one of the 327, we would like to remember Malte today. Malte as a person who stood up for justice. A person who stood up for himself and others. A person who did not look away in the face of queer-hostile discrimination, but actively stood up against it. We want to dedicate our feelings of remembrance to Malte as a strong and supportive person.

All of you who have been made visible today with your names,
and all of you which didn’t even got reported – Rest in Power!