The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) marks the Transgender Day of Remembrance today by urging the public to reflect on all of the transgender people whose lives were ended by violence, simply for living as their authentic selves. The people we have lost include two young, African American transgender women, Islan Nettles, who was beaten to death in Harlem in August of 2013, and Lateisha (Teish) Green, who was shot in Syracuse in 2008.


The 2013 National Report on Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities revealed the disproportionate impact that deadly violence has on transgender people, and transgender women of color in particular. According to the report “more than two-thirds (67%) of homicide victims were transgender women of color.”

The Transgender Day of Remembrance began in 1999 when activists held a vigil to honor Boston activist Rita Hester, a 34-year-old African American transgender woman who was murdered the previous year in her apartment. Transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith organized what has grown into a worldwide commemoration of all those killed by anti-transgender violence. Hundreds of thousands of people across the globe now observe the solemn day by honoring the memory of those who were murdered and holding local remembrance events.

“On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor Islan Nettles, Lateisha (Teish) Green, and countless others lost to hate,” said TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman. “We must continue seeking justice for Islan, Teish and so many more, and renew our call for an end to anti-transgender violence.”

To find the location of a Transgender Day of Remembrance event near you, click here.

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