Every year around 40 transgender people are reported to be murdered worldwide. Dozens and maybe hundreds more go unreported. Since 1998 transgender movements all over the world commemorate 20 November as a Transgender Remembrance Day.
Bishkek activists, mostly lesbian, bisexual women and transgender people gathered at Ala-Too square to honor those transgender people who were killed in hate crimes. In Kyrgyzstan transgender people often experience violence from their families, police and street gangs. There were no murder cases reported, but the activist community is aware of dozens of cases of severe violence against transgender people. The Kyrgyz cases include death threats, persecution and severe beatings from families. One transgender woman had to flee Kyrgyzstan fearing for her life.
Participants of the event lit candles for 26 murdered transgender people and released 26 baloons with the victims’ names on them. Each event participant had two candles and balloons with case information.
The organizers of event feared that the police might detain them for an unsanctioned meeting, yet the policeperson who stopped by only asked what was happening.