2019 Transgender Day of Remembrance

Mohss Elaine, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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November 20th is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, also called the Trans Day of Resilience, a day meant to signify and honor transgender individuals who have lost their lives due to anti-LGBT violence.

The annual event was spurred by the 1998 murder of Rita Hester, who was a prominent member of the transgender community and worked on educating others about transgender issues. In 1999, Gwendolyn Ann Smith created a sigil in her honor and since has memorialized the trans lives lost to hatred and violence.

In 2019 alone, there have been at least 22 murders surrounding the transgender community, and this number could be drastically greater than reported, due to many crimes against LGBT+ community members going misreported, or not reported at all. As you’re reading this, please take a moment to recognize the names of those who were lost in 2019 due to violent crimes against the LGBT+ community.

Brianna “BB” Hill, a black trans woman, was killed on October 14, 2019, in Kansas City, Missouri. She was 30 years old.

Itali Marlowe, a black trans woman, was killed in Houston, Texas on September 20, 2019. She was 29 years old.

Ja’Leyah-Jamar, a black gender non-conforming person, was killed on September 13, 2019, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Bee Love Slater, a black trans woman, was found deceased on September 1, 2019, in Clewiston, Florida. She was 23 years old.

Bailey Reeves, a black trans woman, was killed on September 2, 2019, in Baltimore, Maryland. She was 17 years old.

Tracy Single, a black trans woman, was killed on July 30, 2019, in Houston, Texas. She was 22 years old.

Bubba Walker, a black trans woman, was killed in late July in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was 55 years old.

Pebbles La Dime Doe, a black trans woman, was killed on August 4, 2019, in Allendale, South Carolina. She was 24 years old.

Kiki Fantroy, a black trans woman, was killed on July 31, 2019, in Miami-Dade County, Florida. She was 21 years old.

Denali Berries Stuckey, a black trans woman, was killed on July 20, 2019, in North Charleston, SC. She was 29 years old.

Brooklyn Lindsey, a black trans woman, was killed on June 25, 2019, in Kansas City, Missouri. She was 32 years old.

Zoe Spears, a black trans woman, was killed on June 13, 2019, in Fairmount Heights, Maryland. She was 23 years old.

Chanel Scurlock, a black trans woman, was killed on June 5, 2019, in Lumberton, North Carolina. She was 23 years old.

Chynal Lindsey, a black trans woman, was killed on June 1, 2019, in Dallas, Texas. She was 26 years old.

Paris Cameron, a black trans woman, was killed on May 25, 2019, in Detroit, Michigan. She was 20 years old. Her two friends – 21-year-old Alunte Davis and 20-year-old Timothy Blancher – were also killed in the incident. Alunte and Timothy were both black gay men.

Michelle “Tamika” Washington, a black trans woman, was killed on May 19, 2019, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was 40 years old.

Muhlaysia Booker, a black trans woman, was killed on May 18, 2019, in Dallas, Texas. She was 23 years old.

Claire Legato, a black trans woman, died on May 14th, 2019 in Cleveland Ohio after being shot in April 2019. She was 21 years old.

Ashanti Carmon, a black trans woman, was killed on March 30, 2019, in Fairmount Heights, Maryland.

Jazzaline Ware, a black trans woman, was killed on March 25, 2019, in Memphis, Tennessee.

Dana Martin, a black trans woman, was killed on January 6, 2019, in Montgomery, Alabama. She was 31 years old.

Layleen Polanco, a 27-year-old black trans woman, and Johana “Joa” Medina Leon, a 25-year-old trans woman of color who died after being released from ICE custody.

Reports for other years, provided by the Human Rights Campaign, can be found here 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015.

Typically, Transgender Day of Remembrance memorials are marked by candlelight vigils, marches, poetry readings, and art exhibits, alongside many more forms of remembrance. While today is meant to mourn those who have been lost, it is also extremely important to commemorate the accomplishments and betterment of society due to transgender citizens.

Here are some sites that detail specific artists, youth, music, poetry, and the power of transgender art. Through these works of art, transgender people are able to express their plights, their successes, and covey their hearts through artistic means. These, alongside the help of allies to give them space and a voice, contribute to the mending of dehumanization that transgender people too often face.

It is almost expected that transgender people will face discrimination in some form or another, and those who are targeted are typically people of color. Those on the 2019 list of murders alone are primarily trans people of color. For transgender people, discrimination is all too common, and when paired with being PoC, the danger is two-fold. But you can make a difference in your area.

It is critical that transgender members, alongside the entire LGBT+ community, know that they are loved, respected and safe in their communities. We sincerely hope the Transgender Day of Remembrance spurs you to speak out in favor of the members of your community, and give LGBT+ people a voice and space to be heard, and supporting those affected by violence.

For more information on today, please visit GLAAD for information on memorialization, the Trans Women of Color Collective, and the Wikipedia article for more.

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