Washington (November 18, 2016) – In recognition of Transgender Awareness Week, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) released the following statement commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance, which falls on Sunday, November 20, 2016. In 2015, at least 21 transgender individuals in the United States were victims of fatal violence. This year, the United States has already reached that same number of transgender deaths attributable to violence, reflecting more such deaths than in any other year in which advocates have kept records.
“Eighteen years ago, Rita Hester, an African-American transgender woman was murdered in Boston, Massachusetts. Rita’s death ignited fear in the transgender community. Her murder also sparked the founding of the Transgender Day of Remembrance. On November 20, we remember Rita and the all-too-many transgender individuals who have lost their lives to hate-based violence.
“For the transgender community, and even more so for transgender women of color, the fear of violence is still all too real. And too many of these victims’ stories go untold. Through the Transgender Day of Remembrance, many of these individuals silenced by violence get a small voice. This day is a reminder that no person’s life is worth less than another’s because of who they are or whom they love. We must continue to do all we can to stop the marginalization of the transgender community, to stop the discrimination, and to stop the violence.
“This week in particular, but every week as well, we must remember all the transgender individuals who have lost their lives to violence at home and abroad, and continue to work towards a more inclusive society, free of violence and discrimination.”