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Tragic History As 2021 Now Deadliest Year Ever For Trans Community

With nearly two months left, 2021 has shattered the record of transgender homicides in a year with 45 to date — most of them Black or Latinx — according to the Human Rights Campaign. Last year held the previous record with 44 trans murders. Marquiisha Lawrence, a 28-year-old Black transgender woman in South Carolina, was killed on November 4. In a statement, Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative for HRC, called Lawrence’s death a tragic milestone, for her and for a community that deeply loved her. David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, said that providing financial support for Black trans women and decriminalizing sex work — which many trans women must turn to when denied other forms of employment — is an important part of addressing the underlying inequalities that leave trans women of color vulnerable to violence. Lawrence’s death comes as transgender communities across the world prepare to honor transgender homicide victims for Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual vigil on November 20 for those slain living their truths. The somber event often includes a reading of the names of the dead, a list that grown longer in recent years as anti-transgender violence has spiked due to discrimination that advocates say has been fueled by an anti-trans political climate.