Philadelphia Department of Public Health Statement for Transgender Day of Remembrance

PHILADELPHIA – On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health is issuing a statement to honor the lives lost of 26 transgender and gender nonconforming individuals in our city in 2023. We are saddened by the tragic deaths that have occurred and stand with the community as we reflect on their loss.

Division of HIV Health Director Dr. Kathleen Brady said, “Today, we come together to remember the lives of those who were taken from us by violent means. The numbers speak for themselves: at least 26 individuals were killed in our city, and we must take action to address the ongoing threats facing the trans community.” The fact that 88% of these victims were people of color and 54% identified as Black transgender women highlights an alarming trend that underscores the urgent need for greater awareness, understanding, and action to address systemic discrimination and violence against trans individuals.

Heartbreaking statistics reveal that 73% of victims lost their lives to gun violence, emphasizing the urgent need for comprehensive measures to curb the spread of firearms. It is equally concerning that 47% of victims with a known assailant were killed by a romantic/sexual partner, friend or family member. This highlights the critical importance of fostering a safe and supportive environment in interpersonal relationships, where everyone can feel comfortable expressing their identity without fear or harm.

Another troubling statistic is that 50% of the victims were misgendered or named by authorities or media outlets, exacerbating the pain experienced by trans individuals and their loved ones. It is crucial that we work together to right this injustice and ensure that every individual’s dignity and respect are upheld, regardless of their gender identity.

As we mark Transgender Day

By Editor

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