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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Opinion: On this Day of Remembrance, reflecting on those we have lost

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As of Nov. 17, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) identified at least 46 transgender and gender-nonconforming people who have been killed in the U.S. since Jan. 1 of this year; more than in any year since they began tracking the statistic in 2013.

By Bill Redmond-Palmer

Nov. 20 was the 22nd observance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance.

It is a time to reflect on and remember the lives of transgender, nonbinary and other gender-nonconforming people whose lives have been cut short because of hatred and transphobia. Most have been violently murdered. Others have taken their own lives after the cruelty and hatred grew too much for them to bear.

As of Nov. 17, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) identified at least 46 transgender and gender-nonconforming people who have been killed in the U.S. since Jan. 1 of this year; more than in any year since they began tracking the statistic in 2013. (The previous record was in 2020, with 44 deaths recorded for the entire year.) Of those 46 victims, 28 were Black and eight were Latinx.

Since 2013 HRC has documented more than 250 transgender and gender nonconforming people who were victims of fatal violence. Two thirds of those known victims have been Black women, and nearly 60 percent of those deaths involved a firearm. It is important to keep in mind that the total number of recorded deaths is lower than the actual number, as many are misreported.

Even in the face of a global pandemic, I will never forget Tacy Raino Ranta, one of my first trans friends, for whom I had great admiration, and cofounder of one of Baltimore’s first trans support groups. Twenty-two years ago, my friend Tacy was shot dead in the middle of the street in the neighborhood where she lived for no other reason than being who she was. That was my cruel awakening to the baseless hatred trans folks face.

The brutal murders of Crystal Edmonds, April “Ms Dee” Green, Kandy Hall, Mya Hall, Mia Henderson, Tyra Trent, Alphonza Watson and Tydi Dansbury among others, whose memorials I attended, and whose deaths I covered over the years, all made sure I did not forget that cruelty.

This year, even if others do not, I will say the names of the 46 known transgender and gender non-conforming people killed, to date, in the U.S. since Jan. 1: Jo Acker, Tyianna Alexander, Taya Ashton, Fifty Bandz, Tiara Banks, Bianca “Muffin” Bankz, Poe Black, EJ Boykin, Alexus Braxton, siblings Jeffrey “JJ” Bright and Jasmine Cannady, Chynba Carrillo, Miss CoCo, Jahaira DeAlto, Jenny De Leon, Remy Fennell, Jenna Franks, Mel Groves, Briana Hamilton, Thomas Hardin, Jessi Hart, Danika “Danny” Henson, Serenity Hollis, Kiér Laprí Kartier, Dominique Jackson, Pooh Johnson, Marquiisha Lawrence, Tierramarie Lewis, Dominique Lucious, Zoella “Zoey” Rose Martinez, Disaya Monaee, Rikkey Outumuro, Rayanna Pardo, Jaida Peterson, Diamond Kyree Sanders, Iris Santos, Natalia Smut, Whispering Wind Bear Spirit, Royal Poetical Starz, Oliver “Ollie” Taylor, Tiffany Thomas, Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, Shai Vanderpump, Sophie Vásquez and Keri Washington.

May their memories be a blessing, and may their names never be forgotten.

 

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