Transgender Day Of Remembrance


This Friday, November 20, 2020, we recognize the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. The Day was started in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, a transgender advocate, after Rita Hester, a transgender woman was killed the year prior. 

Hester was murdered in her native Boston community, after succumbing to stab wounds sustained in an attack at her apartment. Her case remains unsolved.  

Smith organized a vigil in Hester’s honor and commemorated the memory of all transgender people lost to violence.

Smith founded a website in addition to the vigil which began as a way to “highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence,” according to media and culture coalition, GLAAD

In America, transgender women experience disproportionate levels of violence. A 2014 report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects, shows that 80% of victims murdered in hate violence were people of color, 55% were transgender women and 50% were transgender women of color. 

In 2020, the number of murders of transgender people surpassed the prior year’s total in just seven months according to the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE)

As of August 2020, 28 transgender people have been murdered compared to 26 people in 2019.

The NCTE suggests equity in access to safe, affordable housing, along with anti-discrimination legislations as ways to mitigate violence against transgender people.

The National Center for Transgender Equality and the National LGBTQ Task Force conducted a survey of 28,000 transgender people who reported harassment and violence in various settings, including the workplace, learning environments, shelters, police interactions, jails, prisons, and among family. 

The report highlighted the fact that there is no accurate way of knowing how many transgender people die each year, because so many deaths go unreported or victims’ identities are misreported. 

Below, the Black Information Network honors the transgender people of color who we've lost this year to violence.

Alexa Neulisa Luciano Ruiz

Photo: Latino Rebels

Yampi Méndez Arocho

Photo: Human Rights Campaign

Monika Diamond

Photo: Human Rights Campaign

Lexi

Photo: Human Rights Campaign

Penélope Diaz Ramirez

Photo: Facebook

Layla Pelaez Sanchez

Photo: Human Rights Campaign

Nina Pop

Photo: Human Rights Campaign

Tony McDade

Photo: Facebook

Dominique "Rem'mie" Falls

Photo: Human Rights Campaign

Riah Milton

Photo: Human Rights Campaign

Selena Reyes Hernandez

Photo: Human Rights Campaign

Brayla Stone

Photo: Human Rights Campaign

Merci Mack

Photo: Human Rights Campaign

Shakie Peters

Photo: People

Bree "Nuk" Black

Photo: Facebook

Draya McCarty

Photo: Sisters PGH

Tatiana Hall

Photo: Sisters PGH

Tiffany Harris

Photo: Instagram

Queasha D. Hardy

Photo: Human Rights Campaign

Brian "Egypt" Powers

Photo: Human Rights Campaign

Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears

Photo: Human Rights Campaign

Marilyn Cazares

Photo: NBC News

We also acknowledge the community’s efforts to fight against dehumanization, which advocates say is a large contributor to the epidemic of the murders of transgender and gender non-conforming people. 

Some of the organizations raising awareness and fighting back include: 

  • Trans Respect Versus Transphobia (TvT) established The Trans Murder Monitoring report to get an accurate number and report of transgender and gender non-conforming people. 
  • Black Trans Advocacy Coalition Mission works to "improve the Black trans human experience," they offer resources for health, housing, employment, and more according to the organization's website.
  • The Okra Project  provides healthy, home cooked "culturally specific meals" to Black trans people. Read more here about how the organization gets food to people.
  • My Sistah’s House Memphis is a nonprofit organization that provides safe housing and assortment of resources to transgender people in need.

As efforts to acknowledge Black lives increase in demand, we must also continue to ensure Black transgender and gender non-conforming lives are counted among the ranks. 

ALL Black Lives Matter.

Photos: Getty Images


Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content