Here Are Some Transgender People That We Can’t Forget in Honor of Trans Day of Remembrance

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November 20 is Transgender Day of Remembrance and today we strive to honor the lives of the trans men and women that we have lost due to prejudice-based violence.

The idea to create trans remembrance day began when Rita Hester, a member of the LGBTQ+ community from Boston was brutally murdered in her home on November 28, 1998. She worked to educate those in her community about trans issues and the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, and to this day, her murder remains unsolved. After holding a vigil in Hester’s honor, trans activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith started what is now known as Trans Day of Remembrance.

According to a study done by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs in 2016, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and HIV-Affected Hate Violence Report details that 61% of LGBTQ+ people murdered were transgender women of color. This year alone, according to Elle magazine, 34 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been murdered.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, transgender victims of violence in 2020 that we should remember include Dustin Parker, Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, Yampi Méndez Arocho, Monika Diamond, Lexi, Johanna Metzger, Penélope Díaz Ramírez, Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos, Nina Pop, Helle Jae O’Regan, Tony McDade, Jayne Thompson, Selena Reyes-Hernandez, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Riah Milton, Brian “Egypt’ Powers, Brayla Stone, Merci Mack, Shaki Peters, Summer Taylor, and countless others. Too many bright young transgender men and women who make great contributions to their communities have been lost.

Some organizations to follow and donate to that are fighting for transgender lives include the Anti-Violence Project, the Trans Women of Color Collective, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Transjustice at Audre Lorde Project. We must continue to fight for equality for transgender men and women and support the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole. Today and every day, we remember and honor the lives lost and will continue to strive for safety for all.