Pride Center of Vt holds vigil on Transgender Day of Remembrance

Frederick Owens
November 21, 2017

This is an important year to acknowledge and participate in TDOR, in light of the record number of transgender people killed in the United States this year alone.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has released a statement honoring Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Today marks the Transgender Day of Remembrance, when the trans community and friends gather together to mourn the men, women and non binary people murdered every year due to their gender identity.

Still, it's not clear how deadly 2017 has been, and the actual numbers may be higher; as the HRC notes, data is "often incomplete or unreliable when it comes to violent and fatal crimes against transgender people".

The Trans Murder Monitoring project, part of charity Transgender Europe, published their annual report on the reported deaths that have occurred in 2017.

Twenty-three transgenders died in 2016 in the US from violence, and that number has risen to 25 in 2017, according to a 2017 HRC report. Since it began recording transgender victims of violence in 2008, TMM has recorded a total of 2,609 reported cases across 71 countries. A male transgender activist assaulted 60-year-old Maria MacLachlan while she was videotaping a protest at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park. The victims were killed by partners, acquaintances or strangers, the report found.

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South Dakota resident, Terri Bruce, who is transgender says anti-trans measures like the so-called "bathroom bills" in many state legislatures, are endangering trans individuals and communities.

The report also emphasized that many transgender people living in poverty "rely on the underground economy to survive, including sex work, drug sales and other now criminalized work".

Just 17 states and the District of Columbia have hate crime laws covering sexual orientation and gender identity, according the Movement Advancement Project, a LGBTQ research group.

The International Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1999.

"There is still so much to be done to combat transphobia across our country and around the world", Griffin and Trans People of Color Coalition executive director Kylar W. Broadus wrote in an opening letter introducing HRC's report.

Experts and public health authorities increasingly recognize violence as a factor raising the risk of acquiring HIV, while also reducing the chances of an HIV-positive person living a healthy and full life.

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