Press

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force commemorates Transgender Day of Remembrance

Date: 
November 20, 2008

MEDIA CONTACT:
Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592
isorensen@theTaskForce.org

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force commemorates the Transgender Day of Remembrance today, a time when the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community remembers people lost to anti-transgender violence over the past year. The Task Force honors the memory of the 30 transgender people killed internationally in 2008, up from 11 last year.

This year marks the 10th year that the Transgender Day of Remembrance has been commemorated. A list of transgender people lost to violence can be found at www.transgenderdor.org. One of the most recent addition to the list is Duanna Johnson, who was an African-American transgender woman living in Memphis, Tenn.; she had been beaten on camera by Memphis police at the police station in February and had filed suit against them. She was found shot in the head on Nov. 9. Last Friday, Latiesha Green, 22, was shot to death in Syracuse, N.Y.

The Task Force encourages everyone to attend the commemorative events occurring nationwide. View the list here. There are 11 states with hate crimes laws that cover the transgender community. The federal hate crimes bill — the Matthew Shepard Act — which includes protections for transgender victims, has passed several votes in the U.S. House and Senate, yet never made it to the president’s desk because of a threat of veto from President Bush.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“The Task Force family joins in the somber remembrance of all we have lost this year, and we pledge to continue our work until all are safe and protected. How many must perish before our society says enough is enough? How many more like Duanna and Latiesha must spill blood before our society says no to harassment, no to discrimination, and no to violence against transgender people? We must move forward, at all levels of government, to pass laws that fight hate in schools, in workplaces and on the streets. We must continue working toward a culture that affirms the dignity and worth of all people.”

National survey on transgender discrimination under way

The Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality have teamed up on a comprehensive national survey to collect data on discrimination against transgender people in housing, employment, public accommodations, health care, education, family life and criminal justice. The data will assist in efforts to pass inclusive nondiscrimination measures. The investigation will strengthen any case made to legislators, policy makers, health care providers and others whose decisions impact the lives of transgender people.

The questionnaire can be completed online at https://online.survey.psu.edu/endtransdiscrim.

The survey is also available in Spanish and can be completed online at https://online.survey.psu.edu/spanish_endtransdiscrim.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.