Nearly every year I sit down to write this email to you about Trans Day of Remembrance, our community is mourning yet another year that was even more deadly than the last.
Devastatingly, this year is no different. 2021 has been the deadliest year on record for trans and gender diverse people, with more than 46 reported murders so far. The vast majority of these people have been Black and Latinx trans women, many of whom were sex workers. And these are only the cases that we know about—the actual number is likely higher. We know there are many that go unreported, and others whose identities are not respected and honored after their deaths.
These 46 people were loved and important members of our community who are no longer with us. Let us take a moment together to speak their names out loud, light a candle for them, and hold them in our hearts.
Today, we take intentional time to pause and think about the people we have lost—to remember the partners, siblings, parents, aunties, uncles, family members, friends, and loved ones that are no longer with us. We grieve and we look for healing in the ways that feel right for each of us, whether reflecting in quiet solitude or in prayer, embracing our people, taking action in community, or simply through remembering. We let ourselves feel the outrage that lives deep in our chests—the righteous anger over this worsening epidemic that continues to get little to no attention in our own communities, let alone in the world more broadly.
Below you’ll find ways to commemorate today, and we hope that, no matter what you do, you take time to read about each and every person that has been taken from us this year. We remember them as not just names on a list, but as irreplaceable members of our community.
But even though their time in this world was cut short, we can hold gratitude for the ways they existed in this world. We can hold compassion and space for their families and loved ones who lost their person.
They deserved better than what the world gave them. Every single trans, gender diverse, and non-binary person in our communities deserves better. Together, we will keep working for a world that was made for them—a world where every single person can live openly, genuinely, and safely in all of the communities we call home.
In loving remembrance,
In-person and virtual Trans Day of Remembrance events across the region:
- Trans Day of Remembrance hosted by North Idaho Pride Alliance (in person in Coeur d’Alene, ID)
- Trans Day of Remembrance hosted by Montana Gender Alliance and Montana Human Rights Network (virtual event)
- Trans Day of Remembrance hosted by TransPonder (virtual options + in person in Eugene, OR)
- Trans Day of Remembrance Community Healing hosted by Q Center (in person in Portland, OR)
- Trans Awareness Week events hosted by UTOPIA WA, Lavender Rights Project, and Traction (virtual + in person in Kent, WA)
- Trans Day of Remembrance Community Vigil hosted by Lavender Rights Project and Traction (virtual event)
- Trans Day of Remembrance Memoriam Program & Candlelight Vigil hosted by Diversity Alliance of the Puget Sound (in person in Tacoma and Seattle, both live streamed)
- Trans Day of Remembrance Candlelight Vigil hosted by Olympic Pride (in person in Port Townsend, WA)
- Trans Day of Remembrance Candlelight Vigil hosted by Spokane Pride, SAN – Spokane AIDS Network, Spectrum Center Spokane, and PFLAG Spokane (in person in Spokane, WA)
Katie Carter is Pride Foundation CEO.