On the heels of historic election campaigns for Danica Roem and Christine Hallquist, it's important to remember where we came from — and how far we still have to go. Transgender Day of Remembrance was created to honor those members of the transgender community who were victims of violence in the past year, but also to inspire action towards a safer future.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation released A National Epidemic: Fatal Anti-Transgender Violence in America in 2018, an annual report that details the brutality suffered by the transgender community in this past year. At least 22 transgender people were killed in 2018, with 82% of them being women of color. 64% were younger than 35 years old and 55% lived in the South.
This year, we mourn Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, Viccky Gutierrez, Celine Walker, Tonya “Kita” Harvey, Zakaria Fry, Phylicia Mitchell, Amia Tyrae Berryman, Sasha Wall, Karla Patricia Flores-Pavón, Nino Fortson, Gigi Pierce, Antash’a English, Diamond Stephens, Keisha Wells, Cathalina Christina James, Sasha Garden, Dejanay Stanton, Vontashia Bell, Shantee Tucker, Londonn Moore, Nikki Enriquez and Ciara Minaj Carter Frazier.
The HRC report also addresses the main factors that contribute to ongoing transgender violence, like the "systemic discrimination" that can make it hard for them to find employment and housing, leading to dangerous living and working conditions. The HRC also offers solutions like gun reform and non-discrimination protections to help the transgender community.
"Even as we pursue these immediate and largely reactive solutions, we must simultaneously address the root causes of violence to make our communities safer for everyone," Chad Griffin, President of HRC, said. "It is unacceptable that transgender and gender-expansive people are killed simply because of who they are."
If you are an LGBTQ person experiencing a crisis or thinking about suicide, please call the Trevor Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386.