BRADFORD Council will mark Transgender Awareness Week and the Transgender Day of Remembrance tomorrow by lighting up the city centre blue and pink and flying the Transgender flag at Centenary Square.

Transgender Awareness Week, from November 13-19, is a week when transgender people and their allies take action and work to educate the public about who transgender people are, sharing stories and experiences, and considering issues of prejudice, discrimination, and violence that affect the transgender community.

Transgender Day of Remembrance, on November 20, is an annual day to honour the memory of the transgender people who lost their lives in acts of anti-transgender violence that year.

From October 2019 to September 30 2020, 350 trans and gender-diverse people were registered as murdered worldwide.

To commemorate the Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Transgender flag will be raised at Centenary Square and lowered to half-mast as a mark of respect to the transgender people that have lost their lives over the last year.

Mark Remembrance Day day virtually in Bradford

A message will display on City Park’s Big Screen to commemorate the day, and the Council will show its support on social media.

Also on Friday, as night falls, the lights on Bradford’s City Hall, Margaret McMillan Tower and the Forster Square arches will be lit up pink and blue, the colours of the Transgender flag.

The Council is also partnering with the University of Bradford and Bradford’s Equity Partnership for a special online event on Friday from 6pm. This will include a roll call for those people who have lost their lives, and ‘The Risk We Live’ – stories from the transgender community. People can register for the event here: The Risk We Live. Trans Day of Remembrance online event

Bradford Council supports transgender staff with a Trans Equality and Gender Identity Policy, which seeks to support transgender colleagues in their working life at the council, and provides advice to all managers and staff around how to support a colleague who is transgender.

Councillor Richard Dunbar, Bradford Council’s LGBTQ+ Champion, said: “Trans Day of Remembrance is always a sombre day in that we remember the lives of the people who were murdered for just being who they are. At least 350 trans people were murdered over the last year alone. We will remember each and every one of them.

“As a council we proactively support the trans community whether this be through making our leisure services more accessible, setting up a new staff network or implementing a new organisation trans inclusion policy.

“Bradford Council stands shoulder to shoulder with the trans community. As a society we need to stand in solidarity, we need to challenge transphobia and importantly we need to listen and ensure the trans community are at the centre of decisions that affect their lives.”

Kersten England, chief executive of Bradford Council, said: “We want everyone in our district to be valued for who they are, so promoting inclusion, equalities and diversity and eliminating discrimination have to be at the forefront of all that we do. Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Remembrance are important ways of supporting our transgender community and raising awareness and our understanding of the issues that they face every day.

"Remembrance Day in particular is a solemn reminder that many people still experience extreme prejudice that has led to violence and death. We need to mark this day, remember those who have lost their lives, and renew our commitment that we must do everything in our power to change this.”