In honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi issued a statement reaffirming Democrats' commitment to the transgender community, while at the same time slamming the Trump administration for its repeated attacks upon this marginalized group.
Transgender Day of Remembrance, held annually on November 20, memorializes victims of transphobic violence around the world. By The Advocate's count, at least 19 trans people have been murdered this year alone in the United States.
"On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we mourn for all the brave transgender individuals who have suffered violence, bullying and discrimination or have been murdered for living as their true selves," Pelosi said. "These courageous individuals are our friends and loved ones, neighbors and colleagues and they deserve our admiration, respect and protection."
"Sadly, since Day One, the Trump administration has inflicted a shocking, hateful anti-LGBTQ agenda on America that undermines our founding promise of equality," Pelosi continued. "Under the leadership of Chairman Joe Kennedy and the Transgender Equality Task Force, the Democratic House is standing strong against these heartbreaking attacks, particularly those waged against transgender women of color, who suffer a disproportionately high rate of homelessness, drug addiction, HIV, sexual assault and murder."
The Trump administration has indeed worsened the situation for transgender people with its repeated assaults on their rights. One of its first acts was to roll back protections for trans students in schools. Job discrimination, already pervasive, worsened when President Trump imposed a ban on serving openly in the U.S. military, the nation's largest employer of trans people.
Moreover, a new proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services would permit health care providers to discriminate against transgender people in the name of "religious freedom." In addition to increased risk of violence, the estimated 1.4 million trans Americans already have sizable barriers to health care; an alarming 31 percent of this group lack access to health services, according to a 2017 report from NPR.
In her statement, the speaker of the House honored "our brave transgender servicemembers," who stand "in stark contrast to a cruel Administration that works relentlessly to humiliate the heroes who stepped forward to serve and protect our nation."
Pelosi also assured the trans community that Democrats would continue to fight against these assaults and work to pass legislation like the Equality Act, which would provide nationwide antidiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and other aspects of life.
"This Transgender Day of Remembrance, Democrats honor the transgender individuals we have lost, and continue to fight to ensure that every transgender American can live free from fear and violence," Pelosi concluded. "Today and on all days, we reaffirm our bedrock value that everyone is entitled to the right to life, liberty and happiness, regardless of who they are or whom they love."