In recognition of the 18th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur issued the following statement:
“The last year saw the killings of at least two transgender people in California, and at least 27 across the country. Outside the United States, more than 85 transgender men and women have been murdered in hate crimes or by domestic partners. In spite of the rapid progress we have made together as a community, one thing has not changed: transgender members of our community – especially transgender women of color – continue to suffer from an epidemic of violence.
Any attempt to quantify the scope of that epidemic must be qualified by an “at least” or a “more than” because those figures hide murders never reported, hate crimes that went unrecorded because of lack of attention or malice on the part of investigators, victims misgendered or transgender kids who took their own lives in the face of rejection by their families or communities.
This month, voters elected an administration that presents an unprecedented threat to LGBT civil rights, but our community was under assault long before the election of Donald Trump. More than 200 pieces of legislation attacking LGBT people – with a special emphasis on the “T” – are making their way through legislatures across the country. Now more than ever, it is important that our community continue to make a priority of addressing the violence suffered daily by our transgender brothers and sisters.
2016 also saw the launch of Transform California, led by Equality California and the Transgender Law Center, a groundbreaking initiative to educate Californians about their transgender friends, neighbors and co-workers and the challenges they face. Through Transform California, we aim to make our state a place where all transgender and gender non-conforming people can feel safe and live free from fear and discrimination.