The Transgender Day of Remembrance (#TDoR) is observed annually on 20 November to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia. It is a day to draw attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.
To find out more about The Shiloh Project’s work on religion and transphobic violence, see our co-director Caroline Blyth’s article (co-authored with Prior McRae) “Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts”: Transphobia, Symbolic Violence, and Conservative Christian Discourse’ in Rape Culture, Gender Violence, and Religion: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)
As Caroline explains, this research focuses on ‘the symbolic and structural violence of transphobia sustained by religious rhetoric (particularly conservative Christian rhetoric). There’s been a huge flurry of concern among conservative Christian communities around, what they term, the ‘transgender debate’. To my mind, this ‘debate’ essentially denies the existence of authentic trans identities and works to exclude trans people from the human community. Some of the discourses evoked in these discussions are really toxic, and play a significant role in perpetuating or validating the alarmingly high rates of transphobic violence that trans people have to live with on a daily basis. I’m wanting to interrogate this ‘transgender debate’ and highlight its potential for sustaining violence, not to mention its problematic engagements with sacred texts, theologies, and traditions. I hope too that my work can inspire some timely and urgent dialogues of reconciliation between queer and religious communities. A tall order, but I’m intent on gradually chipping away at the homophobic and transphobic edifices that remain so prevalent in many religious communities today.’