Today, the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organisation, joined in commemorating the 17th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) – a day set aside in solemn tribute to transgender people across the globe who have lost their lives to violence, and to raise awareness of the constant threat of brutality faced by many in the transgender community.
“On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honour the lives of those we have tragically lost,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Today in the U.S., transgender women are more than 4 times as likely to be murdered as other women, and overwhelmingly the victims are women of colour. This epidemic of violence is stealing our neighbours, our friends, and our children. This somber day must also be a reminder of the urgent need for meaningful action to end this senseless violence. Every transgender person deserves to live free and full lives without discrimination or fear.”
While transgender visibility has increased, the community continues to see the tragic suicides of transgender youth and the brutal murders of transgender people. Research shows that transgender people face harassment and discrimination in numerous contexts throughout their lives, and for many transgender women of colour, the threat of violence is constant.
The first Transgender Day of Remembrance was held in honour of Rita Hester, whose murder in 1998 led to the “Remembering Our Dead” web project, and a San Francisco candlelight vigil in 1999. Since then, hundreds of cities around the country and the world have hosted annual Transgender Day of Remembrance events in solidarity with transgender hate crime victims.
This week, HRC Steering Committees and staff will be attending more than 40 TDOR events around the country. Last Friday, HRC and the Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC) released a new comprehensive report on this epidemic of violence. On Tuesday, HRC President Chad Griffin testified before Congress at the first-ever Congressional Forum on Violence Against the Transgender Community emphasising the need to implement and enforce legislation that will protect transgender Americans and curb the rampant violence against their community.
For more resources and a list of cities where HRC is participating in Transgender Day of Remembrance, please visit www.hrc.org/tdor. For a list of vigils and remembrances worldwide, visit www.transgenderdor.org.