It’s Transgender Awareness Week, opens a new window (November 13th - 19th) again. And Transgender Day of Remembrance, opens a new window (November 20th). Again. The day that we remember the transgender individuals who were murdered this year. That we remember the ones we can, because they weren’t deadnamed in their obituaries, because they were found.
A deadname is the name that the transgender person went by before they changed their names. Not every trans person has a deadname, but many do. I don’t want to have to type this up. I don’t want to have to explain, year after year, about those who get killed for being who they are. I don’t want to have to stay polite, stay calm, and casually explain how many confirmed deaths there were this year.
You might have seen my name on a few other LGBTQ+ Services, opens a new window posts, and other pieces I’ve done for the site. I’m Tara Wright, opens a new window, a library page, and a nonbinary trans person. So this information isn’t just clinical for me. It’s personal.
As of the time of this writing, the final numbers for the world haven’t been released by the Trans Murder Monitoring Project, opens a new window. However, as of this day of writing, the number of transgender people killed this year in the US and Puerto Rico is 45, opens a new window. That’s more than this time last year. There were also 6 deaths after last year’s post went to publication. I have included their names here as well.
My want to not have to do this isn’t because I don’t want to participate in the activism. It’s because I wish that this didn’t have to be. That people weren’t getting killed for being trans, or even for being mistaken as trans (which has been reported before as well).
It’s exhausting. Every year it feels like a reminder of breaking through a statistic. Trans individuals already have high statistics for self-inflicted death, to add in the statistic of being murdered, it’s just. It’s so exhausting. And those numbers go higher if you’re a trans person who isn’t white.
Last year I was sharp, but polite. This year? I’m just tired. Having to explain, to justify, year after year, that people like us are getting murdered for being us? It’s draining. Constantly having to prove that we’re people, that our lives have worth? It’s infuriating. But I don’t even have the energy to be mad this year.
And the worst part is, it’s not even just outside the LGBTQ+ community that anti-trans hostility comes from. While much of the violence comes from outside the community, open hostility and aggression still comes at us from within. And despite what some online are latching onto, the T belongs. Transgender individuals deserve to be safe, full stop. I don’t care if they’re hetero. I don’t care if they’re ‘passing’. I don’t care whatever arguments that people bring up for why someone ‘isn’t really trans’. You don’t get to decide that. Only they do.
We belong. We’re valid. We’re not. Going. Anywhere.
Stop trying to shove us out of the community we belong in.
Stop killing us, and our Black, Latino, Indigenous, Puerto Rican sisters, brothers, and siblings for being who we are.
- Asia Jynae Foster, 22, in Houston, Texas. November 20th, 2020.
- Kimberly Fial, 55, in San Jose, California. November 22nd, 2020.
- Chae’Meshia Simms, 30s, in Richmond, Virginia. November 23rd, 2020.
- Jaheim Pugh Jaheim Barbie, 19, in Prichard, Alabama. December 13th, 2020.
- Courtney “Eshay” Key, 25, in Chicago, Illinois. December 25th, 2020.
- Alexandria Winchester, 24, in the Bronx, New York. December 26th, 2020.
- Tyianna Alexander, 28, in Chicago, Illinois. January 6th, 2021.
- Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. January 9th, 2021.
- Bianca “Muffin” Bankz, 30s, in Atlanta, Georgia. January 17th, 2021.
- Dominique Jackson, in Jackson, Mississippi. January 25th, 2021.
- Fifty Bandz, 21, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. January 28th, 2021.
- Alexus Braxton, 45, in Miami, Florida. February 4th, 2021.
- Chyna Carrillo, 25, in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. February 18th, 2021.
- Jeffrey “JJ” Bright, 16, in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. February 22nd, 2021.
- Jasmine Cannady, 22, in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. February 22nd, 2021.
- Jenna Franks, 34, in Jacksonville, North Carolina. February 24th, 2021.
- Diamond Kyree Sanders, 23, in Cincinnati, Ohio. March 3rd, 2021.
- Rayanna Pardo, 26, in Los Angeles, California. March 17th, 2021.
- Aidelen Evans, 24, in Port Arthur, Texas. March 18th, 2021.
- Jaida Peterson, 29, in Springfield, Missouri. April 8th, 2021.
- Remy Fennell, 24, in Chicago, Illinois. April 21st, 2021.
- Natalia Smut, 24, in Milpitas, California. April 23rd, 2021.
- Iris Santos, 22, in Houston, Texas. April 23rd, 2021.
- Tiffany Thomas, 38, in Dallas, Texas. April 24th, 2021.
- Keri Washington, 49, in Clearwater, Florida. May 1st, 2021.
- Jahaira DeAlto, 42, in Boston, Massachusetts. May 2nd, 2021.
- Thomas Hardin, 35, in York, South Carolina. May 2nd, 2021.
- Whispering Wind Bear Spirit, 41, in York, Pennsylvania. May 4th, 2021.
- Sophie Vásquez, 36, in Brookhaven, Georgia. May 4th, 2021.
- Danika “Danny” Henson, 31, in Baltimore, Maryland. May 4th, 2021.
- Serenity Hollis, 24, in Albany, Georgia. May 8th, 2021.
- Poe Black, 21, in Niland, California. May 11th, 2021.
- Oliver “Ollie” Taylor, 17, in Gervais, Oregon. May 12th, 2021.
- Tierramarie Lewis, 36, in Cleveland, Ohio. June 12th, 2021.
- EJ Boykin, 23, in Lynchburg, Virginia. June 14th, 2021.
- Taya Ashton, 20, in Suitland, Prince George’s County, Maryland. July 17th, 2021.
- Shai Vanderpump, 23, in Trenton, New Jersey. July 30th, 2021.
- Miss CoCo, 44, in Dallas, Texas. August 7th, 2021.
- Pooh Johnson, 25, in Shreveport, Louisiana. August 23rd, 2021.
- Zoella “Zoey” Rose Martinez, 20, in Maple Valley, Washington. August 31st, 2021.
- Disaya Monaee, 32, in Chicago, Illinois. September 6th, 2021.
- Briana Hamilton, 25, in Chicago, Illinois. September 17th, 2021.
- Kiér Laprí Kartier, 21, in Arlington, Texas. September 30th, 2021.
- Royal Poetical Starz, 26, in Miami Gardens, Florida. October 2nd, 2021.
- Mel Groves, 25, in Jackson, Mississippi. October 11th, 2021.
- Jessi Hart, 42, in Banks, Oregon. October 17th, 2021.
- Jo Acker, 26, in Boise, Idaho. October 26th, 2021.
- Rikkey Outumuro, 39, in Centralia, Washington. October 30th, 2021.
- Marquiisha Lawrence, 28, in Greenville, South Carolina. November 4th, 2021