This commentary was written by Katherine Kaywinnet (she/her). Kaywinnet is TAP VA’s Marketing Director – Transactivistva@gmail.com
The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is observed each year on November 20th as a day to honor and commemorates the lives of transgender people lost to anti-trans bigotry and violence, which consistently and disproportionately targets young black trans women. The numbers are staggering but also incomplete, as trans identities are often unreported or erased after death, and the federal government only began tracking crimes motivated by anti-transgender bias in 2013.
As TDOR’s 18th year of observation approaches, the transgender community continues to educate the wider public on the violence and discrimination that intentionally targets them in increasing numbers each year. The Transgender Assistance Program of Virginia (TAP Virginia) and local trans-affirming organizations are hosting the 13th annual TDOR in Hampton Roads this year at Old Dominion University (ODU) to honor the lives of those taken from us in 2019 as well as provide solidarity and support to the local trans community still fighting for socio-political recognition and equality under the law.
- 2015: Lamia Beard, a black trans woman, was killed on Jan 17 in Norfolk.
- 2016: Noony Norwood, a 30 y.o. trans woman of color was killed on Nov 5 in Richmond, and India Monroe, a 29 y.o. black trans woman was killed on Dec 21 in Newport News.
- 2017: Ebony Morgan, a 28 y.o. trans woman of color was killed on July 2 in Lynchburg.
Transgender deaths in the United States by year (estimated):
- 2019 –22 (21 of the victims were women of color)
- 2018 – 26 – (82% women of color, 64% under age of 35, 55% lived in the South)
- 2017 – 25 – (84% people of color, 80% female, over ¾ under age of 35)
- 2016 – 21 – (95% people of color, 85% female)
- 2015 – 21 – (more killed in the first 6 months than in all of 2014)
- 2014 – 13
- 2013 – 19