November 17, 2023 11:00 AM
by Lisa Parson
London Price • Lisa Love • Dominic Dupree • A’nee Johnson • Sherlyn Marjorie • Chyna Long • Luis Ángel Díaz Castro • YOKO • Thomas ‘Tom-Tom’ Robertson • DéVonnie J’Rae Johnson • Camdyn Rider • Jacob Williamson • Chanell Perez Ortiz • Ashia Davis • Banko Brown • Koko Da Doll • Ashley Burton • Ta’Siyah Woodland • Tortuguita • Chashay Ashanti Henderson • Maria Jose Rivera Rivera • Zachee Imanitwitaho • Unique Banks • KC Johnson • Jasmine “Star” Mack
Each year on Nov. 20, we honor the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. The 25 names above are transgender and gender non-conforming people whose lives were tragically cut short this year. The actual number of those lost is believed to be much higher, as many of these murders go unreported as hate crimes or are not identified as transgender by authorities.
Transgender people, and particularly transgender women of color, are disproportionately affected by hate-driven violence. Transgender people face extraordinary levels of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, whether on the streets, at school or work, at home, or by government officials.
In 2023, different government chambers across the country introduced 586 anti-trans bills designed to strip trans people of their rights, access to healthcare and resources – a nearly 10-fold increase in such legislation since just 2020. And many of these bills are specifically targeted to harm trans youth.
These acts by our governmental leaders legitimize transphobia, othering these members of our community and giving tacit approval to those who harm them. Today, one in five of all hate crimes involve anti-LGBTQ+ bias.
Public education, policy change and community efforts are needed to address the complex causes of anti-trans violence and to ensure victims can receive support.
Santa Monica stands with its transgender and gender non-conforming community and is committed to being a safe and inclusive service provider.
Santa Monica has supported – and continues to support – the transgender and gender-non-conforming communities by:
- Providing training to staff, including customer service and recreation staff, on understanding gender identity and sexual orientation;
- Including gender identity as a category in all non-discrimination policies for staff and vendors;
- Including gender-affirming care in city employee health benefits;
- Instituting an anti-bullying program for all youth programs that includes gender identity and sexual orientation as categories where bullying can be more prevalent;
- Helping found the Trans Equity Scholarship, a partnership with the Church in Ocean Park, to help cover the over $600 in government fees associated with officially changing one’s name and gender identity; and
- Becoming one of the first communities to require all new multi-stall bathrooms to be all-gender to create safer and more inclusive spaces for everyone, especially those who are trans and gender non-conforming.
This commitment to inclusion is shared by our Police Chief and the Santa Monica Police Department. "Ensuring the safety of transgender individuals is paramount. Our commitment to justice extends to every citizen, irrespective of gender identity,” said Police Chief Ramon Batista. “The Santa Monica Police Department stands united against violence, working tirelessly to create a community where everyone feels secure and respected. Together, we build a safer, more inclusive future for all."
At last week’s City Council meeting, the city recognized Transgender Day of Remembrance, and City Hall will be lit in the Trans Pride colors pink, light blue and white this evening in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance and the memories of those who were taken from us this year.
More information on Transgender Day of Remembrance, as well as profiles and pictures of all those who were killed are available on the Human Rights Campaign’s page: Fatal Violence Against the Transgender and Non-binary Community in 2023.