Honoring the trans community today (and every day)

November is Transgender Awareness Month, an opportunity to support and celebrate trans people, and yesterday marked the Transgender Day of Remembrance, an international observance that honors victims of anti-transgender violence and aims to raise awareness of the challenges trans people face. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the swell of anti-trans legislation amid an uptick in violence against this community, and how politicians are responding.

Image of the LGBTQ pride flag behind a screen shot of an article from the NYTimes about the Club Q shooting


On Saturday, the eve of Transgender Day of Remembrance, there was a tragic shooting in Colorado Springs at an LGBTQ club called Club Q. At least five people died and another 25 were injured, making it the deadliest attack on LGBTQ people in the U.S. since the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016. Just last week, the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group that has been tracking violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people for a decade, released a report on this epidemic. According to their findings, 85% of transgender and gender-nonconforming victims of fatal violence since 2013 have been people of color; it also found that 77% of victims were younger than 35, and more than 4 in 5 were transgender women.

Image of protestors holding signs and marching in opposition of anti-trans legislation


What makes these tragic headlines and statistics even more upsetting is the record number of anti-trans bills the U.S. saw this year. In Florida, for example, legislators passed the "Don't Say Gay" bill into law. Months later, Alabama followed suit and North Carolina is currently working to do the same. In Virginia, educators voted to restrict the rights of trans students in its public schools, a reversal of existing protections. (Tennessee, meanwhile, has already filed its first anti-transgender bill of 2023.) Overall, more than 145 bills were introduced across 34 states in the last year, with trans youth as the most frequent target of lawmakers.

Image of a woman holding up a Trans Pride flag and talking through a megaphone


But not all politicians are attacking trans rights. In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul officially declared November as the state's Transgender Awareness Month, and on Nov. 20, in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance, landmarks will annually light up in the colors of the transgender pride flag: pink, white, and light blue. President Biden also supported the Transgender Day of Remembrance, speaking out in a statement about the “crisis of violence” targeting transgender people in the U.S. “There is no place for violence, hatred, and bigotry in America. Yet, tragically, as last night’s attack in Colorado Springs reminds us, too many LGBTQI+ people in the United States — and around the world — continue to face unconscionable attacks.” he said. “On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor the 32 transgender Americans known to have been taken from us this year by horrific acts of brutality.”