WASHINGTON, DC (November 19, 2020) - Tomorrow, November 20, is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to honor trans family who have lost their lives to acts of anti-transgender violence. It's also Transgender Day of Resilience, a day when we celebrate and support the brilliance, resistance, and importance of our trans sibilings who are alive.
"With 42 trans, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary people stolen from us, that we know of, 2020 has been the deadliest recorded year for our community to date," said David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC). "While all Black people know the sting of bias, stigma, and violence, this is especially true for our Black and Latinx sisters and femme-identified members of our communities. We call attention to this epidemic of violence because it is too often ignored, because hostile legislation and policy make it worse, and because it must end. We have to prioritize protection, fight shame and stigma, and do the work of healing, so we no longer need to remind people that our trans family deserves to be here. Nobody should live in fear of being their authentic self. Especially not now. Not ever."
November 20, 2020, hits particularly hard this year, as we also mourn the passing of #TransGriot Monica Roberts, advocate, activist, and storyteller. She resolved in 1998 to take a stand against the misinformation and disrespect she saw surrounding trans life and death, launching a more than two-decade-long career.
"Trans rights are human rights issues. That is a given. That is non-negotiable. That is also something that needs to be an accepted reality in this country and across the world," said Monica Roberts in 2017. She would go on to say, "our trans lives matter," and "Black trans lives matter. Latino trans lives matter. We are not your political wedge issue. We are not your secret fantasies. We are human beings who want to live our lives to the best of our ability and express our talents to the world just like anybody else."
We join Sister Roberts' friends across the country and the world in blessing her home-going, honoring her life, and mourning her departure.
Each person listed below should be here with us today. As we say their names, let's redouble our commitment to eliminate anti-transgender violence and let's honor our TransGriot by continuing the work.
Say their names:
" Dustin Parker (25), January 1
" Neulisa "Alexa" Luciano Ruiz (27), February 24
" Yampi Méndez Arocho (19), March 5
" Monika Diamond (34), March 18
" Lexi (33), March 28
" Scottlynn Kelly DeVor (51), March 30
" Ashley Moore (26), April 1
" Johanna Metzger (25), April 11
" Penélope Díaz Ramírez (31), April 13
" Layla Peláez Sánchez (21), April 21
" Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos (32), April 21
" Nina Pop (28), May 3
" Helle Jae O'Regan (20), May 6
" Jayne Thompson (33), May 9
" Tony McDade (38), May 27
" Selena Reyes-Hernandez (37), May 31
" Riah Milton (25), June 9
" Dominique "Rem'mie" Fells (27), June 9
" Brian "Egypt" Powers (43), June 13
" Brayla Stone (17), June 25
" Tatiana Hall (22), June 29
" Merci Mack (22), June 30
" Shaki Peters (32), July 1
" Bree Black (27), July 3
" Summer Taylor (24), July 4
" Marilyn Monroe Cazares (22), July 13
" Dior H Ova (aka Tiffany Harris) (32), July 26
" Kemar Soloman (32), July 26
" Queasha D Hardy (22), July 27
" Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears (32), July 28
" Kee Sam (24), August 12
" KaKedius Reid (31), August 28
" Lea Rayshon Daye (28), August 31
" Elie Che (23), August 31
" Isabella Mia Lofton (21), September 7
" Aerrion Burnett (37), September 19
" Tracy "Mia" Green (29), September 28
" Michelle Michellyn Ramos Vargas (33), September 30
" Felycya Harris (33), October 3
" Brooklyn DeShauna Smith (20), October 7
" Sara Blackwood (39), October 11
" Angel Unique (25), October 25
On November 20, the NBJC asks everyone to consider attending a vigil in honor of the trans, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary community members lost. To see if one is happening near you, check the website or social media of local LGBTQ+/SGL organizations and activists. Follow @NBJCOnTheMove and #TDOR2020 for more information.
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is America's leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and same-gender-loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV.
Courtesy of the NBJC