Somber Events Pay Tribute to Lives Lost
BY Diane Anderson-Minshall
November 18 2011 10:03 PM ET
People across the country and around the world have been gathering to
remember transgender people whose lives were lost this year due to abuse and violence.
In the United States at least nine
transgender people have been reported murdered so far this year, and assaults have been rampant in the nation's capital, with
20 reported incidents against transgender women. Dozens of
transgender people and allies marched in Washington, D.C., Thursday to
raise awareness about the violence.
“Every morning before I walk out of the house, I pray for safety,” resident Xion Lopez told the The Washington Post.
This year Detroit
remembers the life of Shelley Hilliard, a 19-year-old transgender woman who
went missing several weeks ago. Her body was found last week by police. She was violently attacked and burned.
"She was loved by a lot of
people, a lot of friends, a lot of family," Shelley’s mother, Lyniece
Nelson, told The Detroit News. "She just brought joy to everyone that
she came in contact with. She was always there for her family.”
According to the Transgender Murder Project,
there have been 755 reported murders of transgender people in 51
countries since January 2008. Still, the numbers probably only reflect a
fraction of the actual number of transgender people who are murdered
The week of events and gatherings culminates
Sunday, the 13th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, with events
happening all around the world, including Hong Kong, Israel, and many
cities in the U.S.
Gwendolyn Ann Smith started the Transgender
Day of Remembrance after the unsolved murder of Rita Hester, a
transgender woman who died November 28, 1998. A vigil in her honor took
place a year later in San Francisco.
memorial for Hilliard, who was also known as Treasure, is scheduled to
be held Friday from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.,at Central United
Methodist Church, on the corner of Woodward and Adams in Detroit.
For more information on the Transgender Day of Remembrance and to find events, visit TransgenderDOR.org.