Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

19 Transgender Murders Per Month in 2009 To Be Remembered at TDOR

eleventh1On November 20, 2009, the international transgender community will observe the 11th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance.  The Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is a memorial observance of the lives of transmen and transwomen who have been killed during the previous year due to anti-transgender hatred, violence, and prejudice.  According to the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF), Rita Hester’s murder in 1998 sparked the beginning of the TDOR which has evolved into hundreds of local events and memorials throughout the nation and the world.  This year the LGBT community will mourn more than 95 murdered transgender individuals internationally according to Ethan St. Pierre, amounting to an average of 19 per month.  In 2008, there were 47 transgender murder victims remembered at TDOR.  The murder rate has spiked nearly 100%, virtually doubling in just 12 months.  A more frightening assessment issued by Liminalis, a journal “For Sex/Gender Emancipation and Resistance,”  reports that in the year-and-a-half from January 2008 until the middle of 2009, better than 200 transgender people were murdered world-wide, with the bulk of these statistics coming from North and South America.  According to this report, Brazil is the most dangerous country in the world for transpeople accounting for 59 deaths in 2008, followed by the United States of America where 16 murders of transgender folk occurred.  Accurate data are notoriously hard to establish on the numbers of transgender murders domestically and world-wide.  Reporters and researchers have meticulously combed the internet for names and accounts, but many victims remain unnamed.  Reports of trans deaths in news sources with no internet presence are routinely missed.  While the most sensational murders of transpeople remain those of transwomen, the numbers of reported slayings of transmen and queer youths who present femininely are clearly on the rise.  In addition to memorials for the slain at this year’s TDOR, major political and legal victories for the transgender community will also be highlighted.  The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act has been signed into law by President Obama, extending protections from violent crimes to transgender people in the United States for the first time.  The past year has also seen the successful conviction and sentencing of two murderers who took the lives of transgender women under state anti-hate crime statutes, one in Colorado and another in New York.  The message of these convictions to reluctant local law enforcement officials is that convictions for bias-related hate crimes against transgender people are attainable from juries throughout the country, giving the lie to the often-repeated excuse that hate crimes are difficult to impossible to prosecute successfully.  Allen Ray Andrade was put away for life for the murder of Angie Zapata in Greeley, Colorado under such a statute, as well as Dwight DeLee, who received 25 years for the murder of Lateisha Green in Syracuse, New York.

November 13, 2009 - Posted by | anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Colorado, harassment, Hate Crime Statistics, Hate Crimes, Law and Order, Legislation, Matthew Shepard Act, New York, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Politics, Remembrances, transgender persons, transphobia | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

  1. […] away. More, it was irrelevant.”  As the Unfinished Lives Project has reported repeatedly, violent crimes against gender non-conforming people of color, especially young boys of color who present femininely, has reached alarming levels in our country. […]

    Pingback by New Yorker Murders Boy Toddler “For Acting Like a Girl” « Unfinished Lives | August 12, 2010


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