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Honoring Murder Victims on Transgender Day of Remembrance

Honoring Murder Victims on Transgender Day of Remembrance

On October 23, Detroit police found a burnt torso near I-94 on Detroit’s east side. It took two weeks before it was identified as belonging to missing transgender teenager Michelle Moore, also known to friends as Shelly Revlon.

A cab driver who Hilliard often used dropped her off at a house on the night of October 23, Lyniece Nelson, Hilliard’s mother, told the Detroit Free Press.

Nelson says he claimed that there were three men waiting for Hilliard and that her daughter called the driver back and he “started to hear her say, ‘What are you doing,’ then scream out loud ‘No,’ then her phone dropped, a few muffling noises, then the phone went dead… By the time he got back around the corner, there was no one in sight.”

“This tragic event must not go unnoticed,” said Nusrat Ventimiglia , Equality Michigan’s director of victim services, in a statement.

“Transgender women of color are often targets of hate violence in our region and throughout the country. National research shows that transgender women of color face the most severe violence, including murder, and are most likely to experience discrimination and intimidation.”

“I called her Treasure because of what the word, itself, means,” Nelson said. “That’s what she was: my treasure. She was – and still is – my everything.”

“They thought they had silenced her, but what they did was release a monster in her mother,” she said. “I’m going to make sure that whoever did this will pay and justice will be served. I’m going to make sure that no other LGB – and please don’t forget the T – person has to go through this again.”

In the US, national surveys report that more than half of all transgender people report being violently assaulted, 14% report being raped. For transgender youth, three quarters report being harassed. 64% of transgender study participants report suicidal feelings as a result of transphobic violence or trauma.

In the first nine months of 2011, 221 transgender people have been killed around the world, according to Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM). This unique project started in April 2009 and systematically monitors, collects and analyses reports of homicides of trans people worldwide. Most reported cases were from Central and South America, which account for 80 percent of the globally reported homicides of trans people since January 2008.

The project says that even these high numbers are only a fraction of the real figures:

The truth is much worse. These are mainly the reported cases, which could be found through Internet research. In most countries, data on murdered trans people are not systematically produced and it is impossible to estimate the numbers of unreported cases.

Another finding of these updates is that while Brazil has received special attention due to the elevated number of killings, the number of killings in other South and Central American countries like Venezuela, Honduras and in particular Guatemala is equally or even more worrying in view of the much smaller population sizes of these countries.

Since 1999, the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), on which those trans people who have been victims of homicide are remembered, takes place every November 20.

TDoR began in reaction to the brutal murder of Rita Hester, who was killed on November 28, 1998. Her murder resulted in the creation of the Remembering Our Dead web site and a candlelight vigil in 1999.  Observances for the Transgender Day of Remembrance typically consist of the reading of the names of those who have died because of their gender identity, expression, presentation or perception of gender variance. Last year they took place in more than 180 cities in more than 20 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania.

You can find an observance near you on this website.

Related stories:

One Trans Person Is Murdered Every Other Day

EU Calls for End to Classifying Trans People As Mentally Ill

Americans Get Trans Identity?

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57 comments

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9:04AM PST on Nov 22, 2011

If everyone who was "different" was killed, no one would be left alive. But the thing is, no one is really different when it comes to love. We all want to love and be loved. People killing people is wrong, any way you look at it. Kinda makes a person sick thinking about how someone could just end a person's life whether it's from fear, or "religious beliefs." I may not believe in one god, but I'd like to think if god were around, killing is not what she/he would want. I would think that everyone she/he put on this earth was put here for a reason. Except psycho killers and child molesters and animal abusers...

4:45AM PST on Nov 22, 2011

Thanks for the article.

1:47PM PST on Nov 21, 2011

thanks.

10:02AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Humanity is n serious trouble. The sociopaths are rampant. Like the man telling a woman"You MADE me beat you up!" It is not insanity, it is evil. I am not one of those "evil" Christians that demand to control EVERYTHING, everywhere. THEY are not mentally ill, they are evil. Same for the homophobes. It is vile and horrific, and must be stopped.

9:15AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Those who hate and seek to destroy others will have to meet their Maker one day. There may not be justice in this life, but God holds us for all eternity and knows what is in the hearts and minds of people.There will be no escaping from God's justice.

Many years ago when our son was just seven,he commented that:

God doesn't send people to Heaven or Hell, They send themselves there!!"

A life without love and compassion is a life without God. A life without God in our hearts is a wasted life. It is foretaste of Hell. It separates us from the Source of our being and we need forgiveness to move on, and make amends. God wants everyone to to be with in His Eternal Presence.That is why we must not judge others. Heaven is for everyone.

6:22AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Thank you for reporting this story (last I heard, she had disappeared, but had not been found yet). My heart breaks at this. Such pain. Thank you for the links.

5:45AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Thank you for the article...

5:09AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

In order to be a homophobe it has to occupy a significant part of your brain, and this means that homophobes are thinking about men/women rubbing penises/vaginas together in a 24/7 gay porno. That’s an awful lot of gay thoughts for supposedly straight people who hate gays. I bet even gay people don’t think about gay stuff as much as homophobes do.

Homophobes (aka Anti-Gay Movement) are not protesting against bestiality, pedophilia (with/without a priest involved), rape, sexual exploitation, or any other form of non-consensual sexual act in which a victim is forced against their will to participate

The Homophobes are protesting a private sexual act being performed by two consenting adults.

HOMOPHOBE = I DON’T LIKE GAY (SUPPOSEDLY) THEREFORE NO ONE SHOULD BE GAY.

Homosexuals = fighting for the right to control their own behavior.

Homophobes = fighting for the right to control other peoples behavior.

4:15AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Dimitri X

if the haters run true to form, they will blame the person they hurt, for the rest of their life. the "they made me do it" excuse will make them angrier and angrier and they will hurt more people. they tend to be people who are cowards; not only with others, but even with themselves. they just will not admit to themselves why they do what they do.
in a way, it is it's own punishment.
living in a mind that full of hate must be hell.
i just wish they couldn't make life hell for other people too.

3:20AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Bad people do bad things

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
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