MEDIA RELEASE: Equality Florida’s TransAction Network and Partners Honor Lives Lost on Transgender Day of Remembrance

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Tallahassee, FL -- Today Equality Florida’s TransAction Network hosted a vigil in the Florida State Capitol to recognize Transgender Day of Remembrance and Visibility. The TransAction Network joins thousands around the world and across Florida to mourn transgender and gender non-conforming lives taken due to transphobia and trans-related violence.

Florida has the highest murder rate of transgender people in the country this year. In 2018 there have been five transgender Floridians brutally murdered. Londonn Moore, Sasha Garden, Cathalina Christina James, Antash'a English, and Celine Walker, all transgender women of color, were misgendered and deadnamed, the act of using the name on one’s birth certificate and not one’s chosen name, by local law enforcement.

On November 19th, 2018, the Human Rights Campaign released a new report documenting at least 22 transgender people killed in the U.S this year. Since January 2013, the Human Rights Campaign has documented at least 128 transgender people who were victims of fatal violence; at least 110 were transgender people of color. The intersection of racism and transphobia makes transgender people of color particularly vulnerable to violence.

Gina Duncan, Equality Florida’s Director of Transgender Equality and Chair of TransAction Florida, has been working alongside local transgender advocacy groups in Florida to educate local and state agencies about the epidemic of violence. TransAction Florida offers transgender cultural competency training and resources to provide the most effective way to respond to violence against transgender people.

“Each year, on November 20th, we gather to memorialize members of our community taken from us by acts of violence as we pause for the Transgender Day of Remembrance and Visibility. This year, as with the many years before this one, the number of transgender people reported murdered continues to rise.

Sadly, 2018 has already seen at least 22 transgender people fatally shot or killed in the U.S. by other violent means. Five of the murders this year have occurred in the state of Florida. We need action from the Governor and state policymakers to bring every resource possible to investigate these murders, in partnership with the community, and to create policies that uproot bigotry against transgender and gender non-conforming Floridians. As we mourn those taken this year, we once again proclaim #TransLivesMatter.”

Lakey Love, a member of Equality Florida’s TransAction Florida and an advocate at Florida People’s Advocacy Center, stresses the importance of state-level leadership to create protections for the transgender and gender non-conforming community, “For two years now, we’ve seen the Trump/Pence administration work to erode protections for transgender people at the federal level. We’re calling on the Governor and Florida policymakers to create protections that make Florida safer for all its residents. No one in Florida should be afraid to report a crime, to go to work, or to simply walk down the street at night. Right now many transgender and gender non-conforming people live in daily fear just to be themselves. Florida must do better. We need policy protections in place to create a less violent, more equal, Florida for everyone.”

Savannah Middlebrooks of Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gays responds to the horrific violence against transgender people by stating, “As President of PFLAG, I have witnessed the effects of transphobia firsthand. I have met transgender youth who didn’t have a place to live simply for trying to be themselves. I have sat across the table from transgender youth who have attempted suicide only a week earlier. I am humbled and honored to take part in an event that honors those who have lost the fight and feel blessed to stand with those who keep fighting.”

Equality Florida stands with its allies in this event and is joined by Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida, Faith in Public Life, Florida People’s Advocacy Center, Tallahassee and Florida National Organization for Women, and Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gays.

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