Trans Day of Remembrance stings harder this year.
Trans Day of Remembrance is an annual observance on November 20 that honors the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.
This year, Trans Day of Remembrance stings particularly hard — and not just because our community is unable to gather to honor the lives of our trans family due to COVID.
By August of this year, more trans people had been reported murdered in 2020 than in all of 2019. That’s at least 37 this year, and the number continues to rise. Just three days ago, Yunieski Carey Herrera, a 39-year-old Latina transgender woman, was murdered in Miami. Losing Yunieski’s life is significant, especially this week. But she’s not alone.
Trans people of color, particularly Black trans women, are disproportionately targeted by anti-trans violence. A 2018 report from Human Rights Campaign (HRC) calls out that four in five victims of anti-trans murders are trans women of color. It’s an epidemic.
Black trans lives matter. We must work harder to protect them.
In that same 2018 report, HRC wrote something that struck me: “It’s not enough to grieve the loss of victims of anti-transgender violence. We must honor their memories with action.”
So, as we close out Trans Awareness Week and Trans Day of Remembrance, I encourage you to start your action with education. Google recently introduced a resource page to help people learn about the Black Trans Lives Matter movement. The video at the top of the page is worth the two minutes — I’ll probably watch it on repeat all day.
Start with this resource and look into the featured activists. They have been leading this fight for a very long time. It’s something I’m still working on myself — I strive to learn something new from Black trans leaders every day.