Fairness West Virginia honors 2020 Transgender Day of Remembrance

Transgender Day of Remembrance is held annually in November to the transgender people who have died from violence. In November of 1998, the death of Rita Hester spurred a movement to bring awareness to the violence that transgender and gender non-conforming people face.

“Transgender Day of Remembrance seeks to highlight the losses we face due to anti-transgender bigotry and violence,” said Gwendolyn Ann Smith, the founder of TDOR. “I am no stranger to the need to fight for our rights, and the right to simply exist is first and foremost. With so many seeking to erase transgender people — sometimes in the most brutal ways possible — it is vitally important that those we lose are remembered, and that we continue to fight for justice.”

On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, we want to take time to remember our fallen transgender siblings. Transgender members of the LGBTQ community face the most violence, and the brunt of that violence falls on Black trans women. We must do more to protect them. We must remember their names. And we must never forget that our fight for equality won’t be finished without finally addressing the racism that is deeply rooted in our country.

So far in 2020, the lives of at least 37 transgender or gender nonconforming people have been stolen by violence. This number, compiled by the Human Rights Campaign, is not complete. It’s likely that there are more transgender people whose lives were taken by violence. We hold these names, the ones we know and the ones we don’t, in our hearts today.

Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming
People Lost to Violence in 2020

Dustin Parker
Neulisa Luciano Ruiz
Yampi Méndez Arocho
Scott/ Scottlynn Devore
Monika Diamond
Johanna Metzger
Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos
Layla Pelaez Sánchez
Penélope Díaz Ramírez
Nina Pop
Helle Jae O’Regan
Tony McDade
Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells
Riah Milton
Jayne Thompson
Selena Reyes-Hernandez
Brian “Egypt’ Powers
Brayla Stone
Merci Mack
Shaki Peters
Bree Black
Summer Taylor
Marilyn Cazares
Dior H Ova
Queasha D Hardy
Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears
Lea Rayshon Daye
Kee Sam
Aerrion Burnett
Mia Green
Michelle Michellyn Ramos Vargas
Felycya Harris
Brooklyn Deshuna
Sara Blackwood
Angel Unique
Yunieski Carey Herrera