November 13, 2013

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) to Observe Transgender Day of Remembrance

Organization Urges New Yorkers to Reflect on All Those Lost to Anti-Transgender Violence Including Harlem Resident, Islan Nettles

NEW YORK, NY - November 20th marks the 15th Transgender Day of Remembrance. As the occasion nears, The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) is urging New Yorkers to reflect on the transgender people whose lives have been cut short by brutal violence, simply for living as their true selves, including Islan Nettles, the 21-year old African American transgender woman who was viciously attacked by a man who shouted anti-transgender slurs at her and her friends in Harlem last August. Nettles died several days after the assault at Harlem Hospital. The case is still unsolved.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance began in 1999 when activists held a vigil to honor Boston activist, Rita Hester, a 34-year African American transgender woman who was brutally murdered the previous year in her apartment. Transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith organized what has grown into a worldwide commemoration of all those killed by anti-transgender violence. Hundreds of thousands of people across the globe now observe the solemn day.

“The Transgender Day of Remembrance is a somber occasion that allows the LGBT community an important opportunity to memorialize the thousands of transgender lives that have been lost to senseless violence,” said Michael Silverman, Executive Director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF). “We must never forget Rita Hester, Islan Nettles, and so many others who have been singled out for attack, based solely on who they were. Violence against transgender people must stop.”

The Transgender Day of Remembrance official website reports that on average more than one transgender person is murdered per month around the world. The vast majority are transgender women of color. The recent loss of Nettles in New York City and countless other transgender people worldwide, is a stark reminder of the need to eliminate anti-transgender violence and hatred in our society. The Transgender Day of Remembrance gives all of us the opportunity to rededicate ourselves to that mission.

To find the location of a Transgender Day of Remembrance event near you, visit: