Every year on November 20, transgender communities and their allies have gather to remember the lives lost to anti-transgender violence the previous year, and to celebrate and support those who survive.
The past year has been the deadliest recorded. At least 24 transgender people were murdered in 2016 in the United States, according to media reports. In 2015, there were 22 reported anti-transgender killings. As is typically the case, most of those killed in 2016 were transgender women of color.
Here are the transgender individuals reported killed in 2016.
“She was very warm and friendly; just she had this way about her,” friend Deirdre Mask said. “She was vivacious. She’d really just extend warmth to people.”
“Jasmine was a beautiful human being that did not deserve to have her life end like this,” friend Shantell Waldo said.
“We owe it to Kayden, and to all transgender people and people experiencing mental health crises, to stop these preventable deaths,” a task force of LGBT and mental health groups wrote after Clarke’s shooting death by police.
“Found out my friend passed away yesterday. I hope this injustice weighs heavy on the conscience of whoever caused you harm,” an anonymous friend wrote. “Veronica, you were a good friend to me when I was the new girl in town and I will miss you forever amiga.”
“She loved people and she loved being around people,” former roommate Anthony Harper said. “She was a dreamer.”
“We are saddened by the loss of Demarkis Stansberry, and send our condolences to his loved ones,” said Emily Waters of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs in a statement. “Violence against transgender men has been largely missing from these conversations, and we must encourage a discussion of the unique ways that transgender men experience violence.”
“He had this beautiful smile, and you never caught him down or feeling any kind of way except happy,” said Shaunda Campbell, a Burlington High counselor. “There wasn’t a mean bone in his body.”
“I’m heartbroken,” her apartment manager, Anita Nelson, told The Los Angeles Times. “Our residents are traumatized, our staff is traumatized. Everybody loved her. She was very popular.”
“The rhetoric is fueling an atmosphere of hate in Houston and Texas and across the country that is causing innocent Texans to be beaten and killed,” Chuck Smith, the CEO of Equality Texas, said in a statement. “This rhetoric is unacceptable and has real consequences for real Texans who are victims of hate crimes.”
Blakeney worked as a makeup artist and celebrated her birthday just days before she was killed.
“(She) wanted to get a degree in psychology or social work to try to become a counselor to help other people try to get through some of the same struggles (she) had been through,” a friend said.
“Such a beautiful person inside and out,” one friend recalled. “You were one of the funniest and one of the kindest people I ever met.”
“Amos lived a complicated life,” Beede’s family said in a statement. “He had his share of hard times. Maybe because of this, he was a loving and caring person, especially to those who lived in the margins of society.”
“[Diamond] was very loved, and [Diamond] was very kind,” a former coworker said. “And that’s what makes this more difficult. In addition to losing a friend, we lost an LGBT leader.”
“We always expect that we’re in harms way, in terms of robberies and assaults and things that happen, but murder? No,” local transgender activist and family friend Earline Budd told the station earlier this summer.
“She was just lovely, and you couldn’t not smile when you saw her. She just lit up a room. And it was devastating when I heard that news, just a lovely light extinguished,” said a coworker at Forrest General Hospital.
Mockabee’s death comes killing comes just one month after the city of Cleveland passed legislation that allows trans individuals to use any public restroom, shower or locker room that corresponds with their gender identity, without fear of discrimination.
Rae’Lynn’s family say they will remember her as a performer and fashionista who was the “life of the party.”
You could be going through a bad day, but once you saw [T.T.], she was such a happy, cheerful person, all that changed,” Jaliyah Armstrong, told the Windy City Times.
“The LGBT community didn’t have a voice for a long time, so when something happens to a member of the community, it affects everyone,” LGBT liaison Sgt. Kevin Bailey said.
“Whenever I needed Sundays off for church, Jazz would always cover me and say, ‘pray for me too chile!’” former coworker Sherri Johnson Pilson wrote. “Such a sweet person.”
“She was really beautiful,” her cousin John Craggett said. “She was really sweet and nice. That’s what bugs the crap out of me about this. Whoever did this can rot in hell.”
“She was very fun-loving, a lot of energy, and loved to dance,” longtime friend Zakia McKensie said, “She loved family, to eat and cook and she very much loved being in the community with people.”
To find a Trans Day of Remembrance event near you, visit the TDOR website.