CW: Transphobia and trans misogyny, discriminatory violenceThis blog includes some details about the murder and violence against trans people, specifically Black trans women.
For members and supporters of the trans community, Transgender Day of Remembrance is a sorrowful day. Each year on November 20th, since 1999, many people attend vigils to honor and mourn the lives of transgender and gender-expansive people lost to anti-trans violence. As a nonbinary person, I’m grateful for how widespread the memorialization of this date has become, but it also saddens me greatly that such a day is needed.
Transgender people are over four times as likely to be victims of violent crime than cis (non-trans) people. Every year, more people lose their lives simply for trying to be their most authentic selves. According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least twenty-five transgender and gender non-conforming people have been fatally attacked in the United States in 2023. Twenty-two of the victims were younger than 36 years old when their lives ended. 88% of the victims were people of color, and 52% of them were Black trans women. You can see each of their stories on the Human Rights Campaign’s website.
There have been so many tragedies this year. It’s devastating, which is why it’s so important for our communities to stick together, to love and support each other. Allies, it’s vital that you speak up and help raise awareness of this day and why it’s needed. And to everyone, right now is an essential time to take a break, breathe, and check in with ourselves and our loved ones. Have you had water today? Have you eaten? Do you need to stretch your body? Do you need emotional support from a loved one or a crisis line? Remember, your feelings are important, and you matter.
If you can, now or later, maybe take a moment of silence for each of the victims. Say their names in your head.
Luis Ángel Díaz Castro.
Thomas “Tom-Tom” Robertson.
DéVonnie J’Rae Johnson.
Chanell Perez Ortiz.
Koko Da Doll.
Maria Jose Rivera Rivera.
Jasmine “Star” Mack.
May they all rest in peace.
To those of you who are reading this, I hope you all live long and prosper.
Dowd, Rachel. “Transgender People over Four Times More Likely than Cisgender People to Be Victims of Violent Crime.” Williams Institute, 21 Dec. 2022, williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/press/ncvs-trans-press-release/.
“Fatal Violence Against the Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Community in 2023.” Human Rights Campaign, HRC Foundation, hrc.org/resources/fatal-violence-against-the-transgender-and-nonbinary-community-in-2023. Accessed 3 Nov. 2023.