Today’s the International Transgender Day of Remembrance, a time to remember all people killed for being trans*. GLAAD’s video from last year is still relevant this year, especially for the United States.

[the Human Rights Campaign] released its report finding that its count of transgender homicide victims is almost double what it was in 2014, likely on account of better tracking. The report calls for even better reporting of the violence transgender and gender nonconforming people face in the US on a federal level.

Last December, the FBI included gender identity for the first time as a form of bias in its annual hate-crime statistics – and found only 33 such hate crimes based on gender identity. Many states don’t have hate crime laws that include gender identity. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs found 1,359 anti-LGBT incidents in its 2014 report using its broader definition of hate violence, which cites press, police and community reports.

“[The] lack of accurate and reliable data collection makes it impossible for advocates to know how widespread this violence really is,” the HRC report said.

Ouch. Fortunately, this horrible situation has led to action.

Ahead of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a group of nine House lawmakers on Tuesday officially launched a new task force aimed at supporting transgender rights.

The group, formally known as the Transgender Equality Task Force, is an off-shoot of the LGBT Equality Caucus and seeks to examine barriers faced by the transgender community and design legislation on their behalf.[…]

[Jared] Polis, the most senior openly gay member of the U.S. House, said the task force is necessary because despite the progress seen on LGBT rights “too many times the T is forgotten.”

“In 2015 alone, at least 21 trans women have been murdered,” Polis said. “And if you compare the amount of attention from the media paid to those people versus the amount of attention, say, to a particular county clerk in Kentucky, it’s paints a picture about why we need the effort of this task force to raise awareness of transgender issues.”

So let’s do that. Autostraddle has a selection of their favourite 17 essays from trans* women writers. I can’t find any good essays from trans* men on this occasion, unfortunately, but so they’re not erased from the discussion here’s an issue they face that you probably weren’t aware of.

According to Trevor MacDonald, a transgender father who has nursed his two children, “I think what really surprises people are the numbers” of transgender people who nurse babies. “The general public doesn’t give a second thought to female-gendered language, because it doesn’t cross most people’s minds that anyone other than women could possibly nurse.”

But MacDonald, who is currently wrapping up a research study funded by the University of Ottawa about transgender men and nursing, says that he had no trouble finding people to interview for his study. He also runs a Facebook group for trans men who nurse, and that group has well over 1,000 members. “People are studying and writing about this,” MacDonald says.

The birthing community, as a result, has finally taken notice. In 2011, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a statement urging Ob/Gyns to be prepared to treat transgender patients.

My provincial government is also doing their part, proposing a law that explicitly protects gender identity and expression under human rights law. There was already some protection, but it wasn’t explicit until recently.