2020 has so far been one of the deadliest for trans people in the United States.

At least 37 transgender people – most of them Black or Latinx trans women – have been killed this year. We say “at least” because it’s always difficult to get an accurate count of these acts because they are often unreported or misreported.

Today, on the Transgender Day of Remembrance, we mourn their deaths and recommit ourselves to making West Virginia a more welcoming and safe place for trans people.

Started in 1999 to honor the life of Rita Hester – a black transwoman, who was murdered in Boston, Massachusetts – the Transgender Day of Remembrance is a time to say the names of and reflect upon the lives of our trans brothers and sisters lost to violence. It is a time to raise awareness about the epidemic of violence and systemic rejection that the trans community faces in our country and around the world.

At the same time that we mourn these losses and lament this violence, it is important that we also honor the brave resistance of so many trans people, who organize, fight, and take care of one another in the face of so much.  Remembering trans people of color in death and as victims is not enough. We must stand beside and hold up trans communities, particularly communities of color, in life. We must continue to work to end mass incarceration and the criminalization of poverty, gender non-conformity, and blackness.

Today is a day to support that work and those fights.