News (USA)

This amazing memorial site honors our trans siblings who died in 2023

Memorial candles with the trans flag overlayed
Photo: composite

The estimated 109 transgender and non-binary people who have died over the last year have been commemorated via Trans Remembrance, an online memorial website recently launched by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) during Transgender Awareness Week and in the lead-up to the November 20th Trans Day of Remembrance.

The website provides names, photos, and biographical details to many of the deceased — including trans, nonbinary, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, agender, and intersex individuals — in order to “honor the fullness of their lives, not just the tragedy of their deaths,” the NCTE wrote in a press release.

“Our glow is not diminished,” the site’s eulogy states. “We shine with a fire that will go on long after we have died, and in that light, more of us live and grow and thrive from the beauty and energy that we radiate into the world. We have always been here and in the passion, love, art, activism, families, memories, and hope we have created, we are forever.”

Trans Remembrance memorializes many individuals whose passings were noted in national and local news, like Atlanta police reform activist Tortuguita, Alabama pastor F. L. “Bubba” Copeland, trans photographer Loren Cameron, drag performer Heklina, the House of Xtravaganza’s Carmen Imaculada Ruiz, and trans rapper Koko Da Doll.

However, the site also memorializes individuals whose deaths were reported by other sources, including LGBTQ+ organizations, social media, and community submissions as well as through the “tireless efforts” from members NCTE “staff, activists, volunteers, and families dedicated to remembering the losses suffered by the trans community,” the NCTE wrote.

These memorials include ones for New Orleans artist YOKO, voguing artist Lola LaPerla Ebony Mcdaniels, New York makeup artist Olivia M. Snow, Native American HIV activist Marilyn Augustine Hendren, and many others, including people living in Puerto Rico and the nation’s capital. The memorial also includes a listing of individuals who perished in foreign countries.

“[We also received] submissions from loved ones are submitted via forms, emails, and social media posts. Untold hours are spent looking at police notices, missing persons databases, and registries like NamUs, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System,” the NCTE explained on its site. “Other activists scan news reports, obituaries, and memorial notices to find those who are, in death, given the small but meaningful dignity of recognition.”

“It is especially disheartening to recognize that the names on our list are only those who had the privilege of recognition, the fortune of discovery, or the extraordinary courage to leave indelible proof of their true selves for us to mourn,” the site continued. “So many unknown and uncounted people remain that even years from now we will learn the names of people in our community who died this year without the recognition they deserved.”

The NCTE says the purpose of the site is not only to recognize those lost, but also “to make the scope of this crisis impossible to ignore.” The NCTE notes that hate crimes against trans and non-binary individuals in the U.S. increased over the last year, along with recent dramatic increases in anti-trans legislation.

“Fearmongering, exaggeration, and blatant falsehoods are weaponized against the rights of trans people to safe and private healthcare, to be represented in history and education materials, and to safely use the restroom without fear of violence, harassment, or arrest,” the NCTE wrote in its 2023 Remembrance Report.

“Both history and the present show us that attacks on the trans community, no matter how narrowly intended, harm everyone,” the group added, including among those harms “lack of access to affirming or even competent healthcare, employment discrimination, housing and food insecurity, disparate policing, and isolation from community.”

“Everyone deserves recognition of their true and whole selves. Everyone lost was someone valuable,” the NCTE wrote.

Don't forget to share:

Support vital LGBTQ+ journalism

Reader contributions help keep LGBTQ Nation free, so that queer people get the news they need, with stories that mainstream media often leaves out. Can you contribute today?

Cancel anytime · Proudly LGBTQ+ owned and operated

Log Cabin Republicans honor Kellyanne Conway & Caitlyn Jenner at “Spirit of Lincoln” gala

Previous article

Pink will give away thousands of banned books at Florida tour stops

Next article