Transgender people are about 400 times more likely to be assaulted or murdered than cisgender people. This, and other sad realities are a product of a culture that does not accept those who do not identify as the gender they were assigned at birth. Today marks the 15th annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance, a memorial for all transgender (and other non-gender-conforming people) who have lost their lives due to hatred and violence toward their identity.
Each year a list is compiled of all transgender lives lost since the last Day of Remembrance. Events are held internationally to memorialize those lost. This year, 81 names are listed on the Transgender Day of Remembrance website, and 226 names are reported by Transgender Europe. The original Day of Remembrance was held in Allston, Massachusetts, to remember Rita Hester, a transgender woman of color who was killed in November 1998.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance website writes: “The Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. … Day of Remembrance gives our allies a chance to step forward with us and stand in vigil, memorializing those of us who’ve died by anti-transgender violence.”
In one example, a woman named Tiffany Edwards, 28, was killed in Ohio when a man shot her to death. In his official defense, the man accused said he felt “trans panic” when she “came on to him.”
The list of names, along with photos when available, of the lost transgender people can be found here, and a full list of events for the Transgender Day of Remembrance can be found here.
Media Resources: Advocate 11/20/2014, 6/30/2014; Transgender Europe 10/2014; The Society Plages 11/20/2009; TDoR.com; Human Rights Campaign; Trans* Violence Tracking Portal