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Democrats in Congress Introduce Transgender Day of Remembrance Resolution

Congressional Equality Caucus Trans Day of Remembrance Resolution
Images: hirono.senate.gov; sarajacobs.house.gov; jayapal.house.gov

"This resolution honors the lives of the trans people we have lost to senseless violence and stands as a symbol of their resilience," says U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal.

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LGBTQ+ rights supporters in Congress have introduced a resolution commemorating Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is observed today.

The resolution was introduced by U.S. Reps. Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Sara Jacobs of California, who are cochairs of the Congressional Equality Caucus’s Transgender Equality Task Force, and U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii. Trans-supportive members of Congress have introduced such resolutions in years past as well.

“Every year, dozens of transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals are killed in the United States, just for being who they are,” Jayapal said in a press release. “We see countless acts of hate and discrimination due to intolerance and ignorance, and the victims of these acts are overwhelmingly young and people of color. But we cannot, and will not, let these forces win."

Jayapal brought up her trans child and how fighting for trans rights is personal to her.

"I will never waiver in the effort to ensure that all trans individuals can live without the constant fear of violence and hate. This resolution honors the lives of the trans people we have lost to senseless violence and stands as a symbol of their resilience and our commitment to creating a just and equal society for all," she said.

The resolution mentions trans people who have died by violence 2023, both in the U.S. and worldwide, as well as some of the losses of 2022, including the Club Q shooting. It explains the origin of Trans Day of Remembrance, founded in 1999 by Gwendolyn Ann Smith to remember Rita Hester, a trans woman of color murdered the previous year, and other trans people lost to violence.

It further remarks on the disproportionate rates of homelessness and suicide among trans people, the barriers to health care they face, including the political attacks on gender-affirming care for trans youth, and other challenges this population encounters. It also points out that trans women of color suffer the brunt of violence against the community.

“Transgender and gender-nonconforming people don’t feel safe in our country. No one should live with this constant fear and anxiety of being targeted because of who they are,” Jacobs said. “Our bicameral resolution sends a strong message to all transgender people that they’re not alone and it honors all the transgender people we’ve lost to senseless, hateful violence."

The resolution calls on the U.S. House of Representatives to recognize these challenges as well as the “multitude of contributions” made by trans people and their “bravery and resilience.” “The transgender community has demonstrated tremendous leadership since the courageous actions of many community members, including Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, at the Stonewall uprising of 1969,” it notes.

It comes as the Human Rights Campaign released a report on fatal violence against transgender and gender nonconforming people in the U.S. Since last Transgender Day of Remembrance, at least 33 people have been killed. Most of those killed were Black transgender women.

“Transgender and gender-nonconforming people, particularly trans women of color, continue to face senseless discrimination and violence throughout the country,” said Hirono. “No one should have to live their lives in fear simply for existing. Trans rights are human rights.”

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, a Democrat from Wisconsin and the Equality Caucus Chair also noted the severity of violence against transgender people. , “Transgender people, especially transgender people of color, are facing an epidemic of violence,” he said. “Today, we mark Transgender Day of Remembrance and remember all of the lives that have been taken too soon. The work to address violence against transgender people cannot be limited to just one day a year."

Pictured, from left: U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono and U.S. Reps. Sara Jacobs and Pramila Jayapal

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.