Remembrance, Then Action


This Saturday, with a deep sense of grief, we mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual observance to honor the lives of transgender people lost to violence. Earlier this month, with the news of the murder of Marquiisha Lawrence, 2021 became the deadliest year on record for transgender people, especially Black transgender women: At least 45 transgender and non-binary people have been reported killed this year, and since many go misreported or not reported at all, the true number is likely even greater.

On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we say their names.

Tyianna Alexander. Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín. Bianca “Muffin” Bankz. Dominique Jackson. Fifty Bandz. Alexus Braxton. Chyna Carrillo. Jeffrey “JJ” Bright. Jasmine Cannady. Jenna Franks. Diamond Kyree Sanders. Rayanna Pardo. Jaida Peterson. Dominique Lucious. Remy Fennell. Tiara Banks. Natalia Smut. Iris Santos. Tiffany Thomas. Keri Washington. Jahaira DeAlto. Whispering Wind Bear Spirit. Sophie Vásquez. Danika “Danny” Henson. Serenity Hollis. Oliver “Ollie” Taylor. Thomas Hardin. Poe Black. EJ Boykin. Aidelen Evans. Taya Ashton. Shai Vanderpump. Tierramarie Lewis. Miss CoCo. Pooh Johnson. Disaya Monaee. Briana Hamilton. Kiér Laprí Kartier. Mel Groves. Royal Poetical Starz. Zoella “Zoey” Rose Martinez. Jo Acker. Jessi Hart. Rikkey Outumuro. Marquiisha Lawrence.

Though today is a day of remembrance, it is also a clarion call to action. These are not random acts. At the root of this violence are intersecting systems of oppression — such as transphobia, racism, and misogyny —  and it is our shared responsibility to fight them.

Horizons’ grantmaking to transgender communities spans over two decades, and it remains one of the foundation’s highest priorities. In our latest round of COVID-response grants, for example, we supported The Transgender DistrictEl/La Para TransLatinas, and Transgender Gender-variant and Intersex Justice Project — organizations fighting on the frontlines for transgender justice. Today, I encourage you, after a moment of solemn reflection, to take action by making gifts to these organizations.

We must work together to end the epidemic of violence facing transgender people, especially Black transgender women. Thank you for taking a moment for remembrance — and then for action.