With 2021 already the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States, celebrities and politicians are paying tribute.
President Joe Biden released a statement Saturday, observing Transgender Day of Remembrance and calling attention to the 46 known killings that impacted the transgender and gender non-conforming community this year in the U.S.
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“This year, at least 46 transgender individuals in this country—and hundreds more around the world—were killed in horrifying acts of violence,” Biden, 79, wrote. “Each of these lives was precious. Each of them deserved freedom, justice, and joy. Today, on Transgender Day of Remembrance, we mourn those we lost in the deadliest year on record for transgender Americans, as well as the countless other transgender people—disproportionately Black and brown transgender women and girls—who face brutal violence, discrimination, and harassment.”
“In spite of our progress strengthening civil rights for LGBTQI+ Americans, too many transgender people still live in fear and face systemic barriers to freedom and equality. To ensure that our government protects the civil rights of transgender Americans, I charged my team with coordinating across the federal government to address the epidemic of violence and advance equality for transgender people. I continue to call on state leaders and lawmakers to combat the disturbing proliferation of discriminatory state legislation targeting transgender people, especially transgender children. As I have said before, these bills are nothing more than bullying disguised as legislation, they are un-American, and they endanger the safety and well-being of our children. I also continue to urge the Senate to swiftly pass the Equality Act so that all people are able to live free from fear and discrimination,” his statement continued.
“Transgender people are some of the bravest Americans I know. But no person should have to be brave just to live in safety and dignity. Today, we remember. Tomorrow—and every day—we must continue to act,” Biden concluded.
It’s Transgender Day of Remembrance #TDOR. We remember trans folks we have lost to violence this year. Their lives mattered, still matter. 2021 has become the deadliest year on record for trans people in the United States surpassing last year’s record numbers. pic.twitter.com/fK9QsPNp5q
— Laverne Cox (@Lavernecox) November 20, 2021
Laverne Cox also penned a heartfelt statement, in which she called out anti-trans gun violence. “It’s Transgender Day of Remembrance #TDOR,” she wrote on Twitter. “We remember trans folks we have lost to violence this year. Their lives mattered, still matter. 2021 has become the deadliest year on record for trans people in the United States surpassing last year’s record numbers.”
“Anti-trans violence must stop. Violence is structural as well as direct. See Johan Galtung’s thoughts on structural violence,” Cox, 49, added. “To my trans siblings you are beautiful, necessary and have every right to be here. You are here for a reason. Let us not be deterred. Let us be determined to survive no matter what.”
Ellen DeGeneres shared a link to GLAAD’s list of resources for TDOR, along with a brief statement. “Today on #TransDayofRemembrance, I am thinking of the beautiful people we have lost to transphobic acts of violence,” DeGeneres, 63, wrote.
Carmen Carrera shared a mirror selfie from the gym, where she sported a “Protect Trans Kids” hoodie. “Wore this to the gym, made a couple people question,” she started in the caption.
“Today is #TransgenderDayofRemembrance and in respect to those trans & gender non-conforming individuals who lost their lives for being who they are, I’ve complied [sic] a list of their names so we can have a moment of silence for them, Carrera, 36, added. “Let’s us continue to be the change today so the future of our community can have access to a much safer world.”
The RuPaul’s Drag Race alum listed the 46 names of those in the transgender and gender non-conforming community who were killed this year in the United States, as compiled by the Human Rights Campaign.
The names include Tyianna Alexander, Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, Bianca “Muffin” Bankz, Dominique Jackson, Fifty Bandz, Alexus “Kimmy Icon” Braxton, Chyna Carrillo, siblings Jeffrey “JJ” Bright and Jasmine Cannady, Jenna Franks, Diamond Kyree Sanders, Rayanna Pardo, Jaida Peterson, Dominique Lucious, Remy Fennell, Tiara Banks, Natalia Smut, Iris Santos, Tiffany Thomas, Keri Washington, Jahaira DeAlto, Whispering Wind Bear Spirit, Sophie Vásquez, Danika “Danny” Henson, Serenity Hollis, Oliver “Ollie” Taylor, Thomas Hardin, Poe Black, EJ Boykin, Aidelen Evans, Taya Ashton, Shai Vanderpump, Tierramarie Lewis, Miss CoCo, Pooh Johnson, Disaya Monaee, Briana Hamilton, Kiér Laprí Kartier, Mel Groves, Royal Poetical Starz, Zoella “Zoey” Rose Martinez, Jo Acker, Jessi Hart, Rikkey Outumuro, Marquiisha Lawrence, Jenny De Leon, and Angel Naira.
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Carrera’s fellow RPDR star Gia Gunn shared another graphic that put the number of worldwide deaths of transgender and gender-diverse people at 375 for the past year, according to Transgender Europe.
“Today is Transgender Day Of Remembrance. A very bittersweet day for me personally,” Gunn, 31, wrote. “What are we doing to help decrease the amounts of deaths amongst us trans and gender diverse humans? I want to hear from you, because together we grow. And together we will continue to fight.”
Trace Lysette posted a selfie with a brief message for TDOR. “Grainy but here. Thinking about the ones we lost today,” the Hustlers actress, 34, wrote. “Hugging the ones who are still here.”
The first Transgender Day of Remembrance was organized in 1999 by trans advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith, honoring the memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed the year before. The vigil also commemorated other transgender people who were victims of violence since Hester’s death, sparking the tradition of trans remembrance.