Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed to memorialize people killed by prejudice against transgender and gender-variant people. It also raises public awareness of hate crimes committed against transgender people – an action the media doesn’t do well, as we saw during the reporting of Indianapolis resident Ashley Sherman’s death. Day of Remembrance publicly identifies (where possible) and honors victims of violence, especially those that might be forgotten due to living in marginalized circumstances or due to deliberate or unaware misgendering of the victim after their death. We recognize that transgender people are sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, parents and friends.
81 transgender people were murdered around the world in 2014, the vast majority of them women of color, including one woman, Ashley Sherman, who was murdered here in Indianapolis, Indiana last month. Her killer is still unknown. In 2003, Indianapolis resident Nireah Johnson was murdered as well; fortunately her killers were brought to justice and incarcerated for her death and the death of her friend Brandie Coleman.