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Civil Service

Transgender Day of Remembrance 2016

Sue Owen
Sue Owen, Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion Champion

Sunday 20 November is international Transgender Day of Remembrance, or TDoR for short. It’s a day when Trans communities and allies come together to remember the dangers of ignorance, hatred and bigotry. It’s a day to address the continued violence endured by Trans people. It’s a day to mourn.

For anyone unfamiliar with it, TDoR grew out of the project 'Remembering our Dead', which honours Rita Hester, murdered on 28 November 1998. Rita was well-known and popular in her local area in Boston, USA. Two days short of her 35th birthday, she was found at home, having been stabbed at least 20 times in the chest. After an outpouring of grief at the murder, the 'Remembering our Dead' web project was created and, the following year, Gwendolyn Ann Smith, Trans activist, founded TDoR. There are ongoing records for how many have died in 2016 as a result of Trans-based hate or prejudice.


Here in the UK, the debate about how we can further equality and prevent hate crime continues. In the Civil Service, we are clear that all our colleagues have the right to work in environments free of bullying, harassment and discrimination. We work in partnership with staff networks to ensure that appropriate guidance and policies are in place to encourage inclusive working environments, including those particular to trans and intersex staff. In addition, trans and intersex staff also have a:gender to offer a place of support. If you want to find out more or contribute, please contact

Over the weekend, at events around the world, a list of names will be read out. They are the names of all those who have lost their lives because of hatred and bigotry. Please take a few moments to reflect. Ask yourself how we can help each other reaffirm our commitment to demolish discrimination and put hatred into a grave.

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  1. Comment by Gavin Thomas posted on

    Thank you Sue for drawing my attention to an event that I was totally unaware of. as someone who seeks to promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace and an LGBT Ally, I feel that attitudes and awareness has improved within the Organisation. However, there is still much more that needs to be done and especially in respect of LGBT Colleagues being able to be authentic working working overseas!

  2. Comment by Kevin Oliver posted on

    Sue, what a great blog. It's important to remember and indeed to value everyone, and to recognise that some people have to struggle to be who they are. As you know, I've been as supportive as I can, firstly with HM Passport Office, and now with DWP. It's important to be an Ally. Celebrate the contributions that all people make. And also promote understanding. Everyone has a right to be who they are. No one should live in fear.

  3. Comment by Derek Bradford posted on

    Terrific article Sue, totally important that we remember the lives so sadly lost to hate and transphobia, and reflect on the work left to do to achieve full equality for the trans community... and also the Whole LGBT community too .

    Glad uve mentioned the importance of staff networks because they really are key in the Civil Service in our work towards full Acceptance without Exception .. best regards Derek Bradford .. CSRA Scotland Rep and HMRC Prism Network Chairperson