To commemorate the Transgender Day of Remembrance, the National Center for Transgender Equality released a report honoring the lives of 109 transgender individuals in the United States who died over the past year from various causes.
The 2023 “Remembrance Report” honors 53 transgender, gender-nonconforming, and nonbinary people who lost their lives to violence and 33 more who committed suicide — which the report, in many instances, casts as the result of mental health struggles, prejudice, and discrimination.
Information on the deceased individuals was compiled from various news sources, LGBTQ advocacy organizations, social media, and community submissions. Each entry, categorized by the state where the deceased resided, includes photos, illustrations, and biographical information.
The report is largely focused on positive thoughts and the contributions or accomplishments of each individual, serving as a memorial rather than fixating on the often grisly details of their deaths.
“Shedding light on various forms of violence against the trans community, including physical violence, bullying, harassment, and systemic discrimination, this report emphasizes the need to broaden the perspective on gender identity and expression and ensure the memorialization of all lost community members,” the National Center for Transgender Equality said in a statement.
Notably, among those contained in the report are two of the five victims killed in the Club Q mass shooting in Colorado Springs last year.
Locally, the report remembers the lives of Sterling resident Mykal Rae Wilson, who allegedly took their life in July; Jasmine “Star” Mack, who was fatally stabbed to death in January; Skylar Harrison Reeves, whose partially unclothed body was found in a secluded section of D.C.’s Marvin Gaye Park last month; and A’nee Johnson, who was killed after being pushed into the street and struck by a car following a violent physical attack last month.
The number of transgender people confirmed to have been killed in acts of violence has ticked up slightly over the past year (in 2022, the Remembrance Report listed 47 transgender people who lost their lives to violence).
However, as is often the case in cases involving members of the trans community, obtaining accurate data on transgender deaths can be challenging.
For example, transgender individuals may be frequently misidentified or misgendered by law enforcement, journalists, or even family members who refuse to acknowledge their identities.
“NCTE’s Remembrance Report emphasizes the importance of accurate data collection, urging governments to recognize all gender identities,” Kris Tassone, the policy counsel for the National Center for Transgender Equality and head of the Remembrance Project, said in a statement.
“Despite strides in vital record updates, more comprehensive efforts are needed to ensure accurate representation and recognition. The 2023 Remembrance Report emphasizes the importance of coming together to mourn and support a cause. Everyone we lost was precious and deserves to be honored for who they truly were, in their entirety.”
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