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National Black Justice Coalition Statement on Transgender Day of Remembrance


WASHINGTON, DC Tomorrow, November 20th, is Transgender Day of Remembrance – a day to honor our trans family who have lost their lives to acts of anti-transgender violence. It’s also Transgender Day of Resilience – a day when we celebrate and support the brilliance, resistance, and importance of our trans sibilings who are alive.

“With 40 trans and nonbinary people stolen from us, that we know of, 2020 has been the deadliest recorded year for our community to date,” said David J. Johns, Executive Director of National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC). “While all Black people know the sting of bias, stigma, and violence this is especially true for our Black and Latinx sisters and femme identified members of our communities. We call attention to this epidemic of violence because it is too-often ignored, because hostile legislation and policy make it worse, and because it must end. We have to prioritize protection, fight shame and stigma, and do the work of healing, so we no longer need to remind people that our trans family deserves to be here. Nobody should live in fear of being their authentic self. Especially not now. Not ever.”

November 20th, 2020 hits particularly hard this year, as we also mourn the passing of #TransGriot Monica Roberts, advocate, activist, and story-teller. She resolved in 1998 to take a stand against the misinformation and disrespect she saw surrounding trans life and death, launching a more than two-decade long career. 

“Trans rights are human rights issues. That is a given. That is non-negotiable. That is also something that needs to be an accepted reality in this country and across the world,” said Monica Roberts in 2017. She would go on to say, “our trans lives matter,” and “Black trans lives matter. Latino trans lives matter. We are not your political wedge issue. We are not your secret fantasies. We are human beings who want to live our lives to the best of our ability and express our talents to the world just like anybody else.”

We join Sister Roberts’ friends across the country and the world in blessing her home going, honoring her life, and mourning her departure.

Each person listed below should be here with us today. As we say their names, let’s redouble our commitment to eliminate anti-transgender violence and let’s honor our TransGriot by continuing the work.


Say their names.

  1. Dustin Parker (25), January 1

  2. Neulisa “Alexa” Luciano Ruiz (27), February 24
  3. Yampi Méndez Arocho (19), March 5
  4. Monika Diamond (34), March 18
  5. Lexi (33), March 28
  6. Scottlynn Kelly DeVor (51), March 30
  7. Ashley Moore (26), April 1
  8. Johanna Metzger (25), April 11
  9. Penélope Díaz Ramírez (31), April 13
  10. Layla Peláez Sánchez (21), April 21
  11. Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos (32), April 21
  12. Nina Pop (28), May 3
  13. Helle Jae O'Regan (20), May 6
  14. Jayne Thompson (33), May 9
  15. Tony McDade (38), May 27
  16. Selena Reyes-Hernandez (37), May 31
  17. Riah Milton (25), June 9
  18. Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells (27), June 9
  19. Brian "Egypt" Powers (43), June 13
  20. Brayla Stone (17), June 25
  21. Tatiana Hall (22), June 29
  22. Merci Mack (22), June 30
  23. Shaki Peters (32), July 1
  24. Bree Black (27), July 3
  25. Summer Taylor (24), July 4
  26. Marilyn Monroe Cazares (22), July 13
  27. Dior H Ova (aka Tiffany Harris) (32), July 26
  28. Kemar Soloman (32), July 26
  29. Queasha D Hardy (22), July 27
  30. Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears (32), July 28
  31. Kee Sam (24), August 12
  32. KaKedius Reid (31), August 28
  33. Lea Rayshon Daye (28), August 31
  34. Elie Che (23), August 31
  35. Isabella Mia Lofton (21), September 7
  36. Aerrion Burnett (37), September 19
  37. Tracy "Mia" Green (29), September 28
  38. Michelle Michellyn Ramos Vargas (33), September 30
  39. Felycya Harris (33), October 3
  40. Brooklyn DeShauna Smith (20), October 7
  41. Sara Blackwood (39), October 11
  42. Angel Unique (25), October 25

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.