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A Reflection on Transgender Day of Remembrance: We Deserve More

Transgender Day of Remembrance Marie-Adélina de la Ferrière
Images: Shutterstock; Courtesy Marie-Adélina de la Ferrière

How can we create a world where Black trans women like me not only survive but thrive?

As communities come together to commemorate Transgender Day of Remembrance, I find myself reflecting on the lives lost, the struggles faced, and the resilience of my trans siblings. This day holds a profound significance for me, as it serves as a painful reminder of the disproportionate inequity, discrimination, and violence that trans individuals, particularly Black and Brown trans individuals, continue to endure.

Though the trans experience is not a monolith, the difficult and sometimes painful journeys we navigate in life weave us together. We navigate a world that fails to acknowledge the intersectionality of our identities. The statistics are stark and disheartening. This year, 26 lives were taken too soon, only incensed by the spate of anti-transgender legislation. The numbers, however, only tell part of the story. Behind each statistic is a human being – a sibling, a colleague, a friend – whose life was tragically cut short.

Transgender Day of Remembrance is a solemn occasion to honor their memories, but it must also serve as a call to action. This day, dedicated to remembering those we have lost, prompts a crucial question:

How can we create a world where Black trans women not only survive but thrive?

We cannot address our issues without confronting the systemic injustices perpetuating our marginalization. It is essential to advocate for policy changes that protect the rights of transgender individuals, including comprehensive anti-discrimination laws and improved access to healthcare. Too often, transgender individuals are denied opportunities, their potential stifled by a society that refuses to recognize their humanity.

Education is another critical component of dismantling the prejudices that contribute to violence. We can challenge the stereotypes and misconceptions that fuel discrimination by fostering a culture of inclusivity and understanding. Schools, workplaces, and communities must actively work to create environments where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued, regardless of their gender identity.

Moreover, it is imperative to amplify the voices of Black and Brown trans folks in conversations about their own lives. Too often, our experiences are overshadowed or misrepresented by others. By centering our narratives, we can dispel myths, break down stereotypes, and humanize our struggles. Representation matters, not only in the media but in boardrooms, legislative chambers, and all spaces where decisions affecting our lives are made.

On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, let us also celebrate the strength and resilience of transgender individuals across the country and world. Despite our adversity, we continue to thrive, create, and inspire. Our existence is an act of resistance, and our stories are ones of resilience and testaments to the beauty and diversity within the LGBTQ+ community and beyond.

Now more than ever, it is crucial to build solidarity across communities. Allies play a vital role in challenging the systemic issues that disproportionately affect us. By listening, learning, and actively advocating for change, allies can help create a more inclusive and equitable world for all.

As we light candles and say the names of those we have lost, let us mourn and commit ourselves to action. Transgender Day of Remembrance should serve as a catalyst for change – a day when we collectively say, "Enough is enough." Transgender folks like myself deserve more than a world that remembers us only in death. We deserve a world that recognizes our humanity, respects our rights, and celebrates our contributions.

It is time to work together to create that world – a world where transgender individuals not only survive but thrive.

Marie-Adélina de la Ferrière is the PR Specialist at equalpride, publisher of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, Plus, and

Views expressed in The Advocate’s opinion articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Advocate or our parent company, equalpride.

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Marie-Adélina De La Ferrière