PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Twenty-two lives have been taken and an epidemic is exposed.
On Wednesday, advocates, activists, and allies will hold events nationally in recognition of Transgender Day of Remembrance. It comes after a report released Monday by the Human Rights Campaign on the epidemic of anti-transgender violence.
Of the 22 trans and gender non-conforming people killed nationally, all but one were black, and 81 percent were under the age of 30. Tragically, Florida and Texas are tied for the most instances of anti-trans violence between 2013 and this year.
“There’s a problem here and it’s not being addressed,” said Michael Riordan, activist and Compass Community Center marketing and communications director. “We see this. It’s not right. And we’re going to do something to stop it.”
Those killed include Bee Love Slater of Pahokee, whose body was found burned in a vehicle in early September . In a press statement, HRC said the number of cases like Slater’s is likely under reported.
“Transgender women of color are living in crisis, especially black transgender women,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “While the details of the cases documented in this report differ, the toxic intersection of racism, sexism, transphobia and easy access to guns conspire to deny so many members of the transgender and gender non-conforming community access to housing, employment, and other necessities to survive and thrive. Every one of these lives cut tragically short reinforces the urgent need for action on all fronts to end this epidemic — from lawmakers and law enforcement to the media and our communities.”
On Wednesday, Compass advocates along with Bee Love Slater's family will hold a Day of Remembrance at Palm Beach State College’s Belle Glade Campus. The event will be held at the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center. The program starts at 6 p.m.
”There’s so much need to the west - both on a social support level and services level,” said Claudia Harrison, Compass Community Center chief information officer.
For the full HRC Fatal Anti-Transgender Violence in the United States in 2019 report, click here .