Alternative side to remembrance

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HOT on the heels of honouring heroes on Poppy Day comes a remembrance service with a difference – organised for the city’s transgender community.

The Church of Christ the Cornerstone will host the MK International Transgender Day of Remembrance event next Tuesday evening.

With mayor Catriona Morris as guest of honour, the service will include a two minute silence to remember victims of transphobic attacks.

Organiser Karl Rutlidge said: “We will read out a list of names of people who have died as a result of hate crimes all over the world,

“These range from people who have been murdered to people who have committed suicide because of how they have been treated by people who are transphobic.”

Karl, 28, is one year into transition from female to male. He and his partner Sally Rush are part of a group of people who decided to organise the remembrance event to raise people’s awareness of how transgender and transsexual people can suffer.

“I have been lucky. My transition has been relatively problem-free. But I know other people from the community who have had a terrible time,” he said.

A risk analyst, Karl is a committed Christian but says the remembrance service is non religious.

“It is for everybody. There will be one non-denominational prayer, then poetry readings, reflections and music. The main part will be the reading of the list of names followed by the silence,” he said.

The event begins at 6pm and anybody from the trans community is welcome to attend, along with friends and supporters if they wish.

Such ‘alternative’ remembrance events have been held in America for years, said Karl.

“This is the first time one has been held in Milton Keynes. We are hoping around 40 people will attend. And if it is successful we would consider making it an annual event.”