U.S. Representatives Pramila Jayapal, Sara Jacobs, and Senator Mazie Hirono, along with other supportive members of Congress, have introduced a resolution to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance. This day, observed annually, honors the memory of transgender individuals lost to violence and discrimination. The resolution aims to shed light on the challenges faced by the transgender community and reinforces Congress’s commitment to equality and justice for all.
Personal Connection and Advocacy
Representative Jayapal, who has a trans child, expressed her personal connection to the fight for transgender rights. She emphasized the importance of creating a society where trans individuals can live without fear of violence and hate. The resolution serves as a testament to the lives lost and a symbol of resilience and commitment to ensuring equality for transgender people.
Remembering the Victims
The resolution specifically acknowledges the numerous transgender individuals who have been victims of violence in the U.S. and worldwide, including the tragic Club Q shooting of 2022. It traces the origins of Transgender Day of Remembrance to 1999, when Gwendolyn Ann Smith founded it to remember Rita Hester, a murdered trans woman of color, and other trans victims.
Highlighting Disproportionate Challenges
The document discusses the disproportionate rates of homelessness, suicide, and barriers to healthcare faced by the transgender community. It also addresses the political attacks on gender-affirming care for trans youth and highlights the violence predominantly targeting trans women of color.
Call for Recognition and Action
The resolution urges the House of Representatives to acknowledge the challenges faced by trans people and their significant contributions and bravery. It recalls the leadership demonstrated by the transgender community since the Stonewall uprising of 1969, led by figures like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
The Human Rights Campaign Report
The introduction of the resolution coincides with the Human Rights Campaign’s report on fatal violence against transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals. The report reveals that at least 33 people, mostly Black transgender women, have been killed since the last Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Statements from Congressional Members
Senator Hirono stated, “Trans rights are human rights,” emphasizing the need to address discrimination and violence against the transgender community. Representative Mark Pocan, Chair of the Equality Caucus, echoed these sentiments, calling attention to the epidemic of violence against transgender people, particularly people of color.
A Day of Remembrance and Ongoing Effort
As the nation marks Transgender Day of Remembrance, congressional members remind us that addressing violence against transgender people requires a year-round effort. The resolution serves as a call to action and a reminder of the ongoing struggle for transgender rights and safety.