This year broke a record no one was hoping for-highest reported transgender deaths caused by violence since 2013 when the HRC started tracking this data. Transgender Day of Remembrance, taking place this year Saturday, was created to remember these lives lost.
According to Forbes, 45 transgender or non-binary people have been killed as of Nov. 9. These are only reported deaths, and it can be assumed that there are many unknown or unreported others.
According to an article from UCLA, transgender people are four times more likely to experience violence in the form of assault, rape or homicide than cisgender people (identifying with the gender someone is born with). Even transgender and non-binary people who do not experience this extreme form of hate in their own lives may still be affected, such as Avery Staker, a third-year Iowa State student studying journalism and non-binary person.
"I know that while I'm privileged, at any point in time, it could happen to me," said Staker. "While we might not face it in our personal life, we know that the rest of the world puts us in that box. That in itself is like a danger. I'm constantly just like, existing in this space, like it's a threat to a lot of people."
Staker also opened up about the time they have spent crying and screaming out of anger from this treatment. However, they share that the best way for them to handle this is to show pride in how open they are and to be unapologetically themselves, no matter what dangers may follow, because it is worth it for them to be themself.
Pride Goes Greek is an organization started by Staker so anyone in the LGBTQ+ community involved in greek life can feel safe and welcomed. While they do not currently have any transgender members, they show support to their non-binary members by normalizing sharing pronouns and not forcing a gender binary.
Kate Budziak, a fifth-year Iowa State student in women and gender studies and president of Socialize with Pride, has spent the last year and a half since she founded this organization making sure there is a space for transgender and other LGBTQ+ students to feel safe and valued.
"Because of Socialize with Pride's very nature, we want anyone to feel welcome and valid," said Budziak. "One way we support our transgender members is by being respectful of one another's identities. Support also comes from outside events on and off campus that I always mention through social media or email."
Budziak also stated that this organization does not require members to share their gender or sexual identity to avoid any pressure members may feel.
Trans@ISU is an online resource for transgender and other LGBTQ+ students to use. Here, students are able to find mental health services, learn about admissions, find housing and answer questions about other personal issues, all based on their individual needs.
Potentially making a Women and Gender Studies course required at Iowa State seems like it could help educate students and prevent transgender mistreatment on campus, but it could also devalue the meaning behind the class and turn it into something that is forced, according to Daphne Brewer, a fourth-year Iowa State student in English and transgender woman.
Even with resources on education and inclusivity, organizations to support transgender students and a university that is doing everything they can, there is a sad truth to the world that cannot be denied. Some people lack respect for others and will continuously degrade others, even if it seems obvious that it is wrong.
"I mean, we all take the alcohol thing. And the sexual assault thing," Brewer said. "But I mean, look at the month of November. We're halfway through November, but look at how many sexual assault emails that we've already gotten. But supposedly we're all supposed to know not to sexually assault."
While Brewer does not feel unsafe on campus, she has experienced extreme disrespect, such as being called homophobic and transphobic slurs by fellow, typically cisgender male classmates.
There will be an event and vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance at Reliable Street Gallery at 5:30 p.m. Saturday for anyone to attend and pay respects to the transgender and non-binary lives lost this year.
The individuals listed below were all victims of violent crime, but many other deaths may have gone unreported. According to Forbes, there are also many other unlisted deaths caused by anti-transgender discrimination, such as rejected health care and missing out on job opportunities that they experienced just for being transgender.
Tyianna Alexander, a 28-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot in Chicago on Jan. 6. She also went by Davarea Alexander.
Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín, a transgender man, was killed in Puerto Rico on Jan. 9.
Bianca "Muffin" Bankz, a Black transgender woman in her early 30s, was shot in Atlanta on Jan. 17.
Dominique Jackson, a Black transgender woman, was shot in Jackson, Miss., on Jan. 25.
Fifty Bandz, a 21-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot in Baton Rouge, La., on Jan. 28.
Alexus Braxton, a 45-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed in Miami on Feb. 4. She also went by Kimmy Icon Braxton.
Chyna Carrillo, a 24-year-old transgender woman, was killed in New Wilmington, Pa., on Feb. 18. She also went by Chyna Cardenas.
Jeffrey "JJ" Bright, a 16-year-old transgender boy, was shot in his home by his mother in Ambridge, Pa., on Feb. 22.
Jasmine Cannady, a 22-year-old non-binary person and sibling to Jeffrey Bright was shot in their home by their mother in Ambridge, Pa., on Feb. 22.
Jenna Franks, a 33-year-old white transgender woman, was killed in Jacksonville, N.C., in February.
Diamond Kyree Sanders, a 23-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot in Cincinnati on Mar. 3.
Rayanna Pardo, a 26-year-old Latina transgender woman, was killed in Los Angeles on Mar. 17.
Jaida Peterson, a 29-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed in Charlotte, N.C., on Apr. 4.
Dominique Lucious, a 26-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot in Springfield, Mo., on Apr. 8.
Remy Fennell, a Black transgender woman in her 20s, was shot in Charlotte, N.C., on Apr. 15.
Tiara Banks, a 24-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot alone in her car in Chicago on Apr. 21. She was later pronounced dead at the scene.
Natalia Smüt, a 24-year-old Black and Puerto Rican transgender woman and drag artist, was killed in Milpitas, Calif., on Apr. 23.
Iris Santos, a 22-year-old Latinx transgender woman, was shot while eating at a picnic table in Houston on Apr. 23. She was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead there.
Tiffany Thomas, a 38-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed in Dallas on Apr. 24.
Keri Washington, a 49-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed in Clearwater, Fla., on May 1.
Jahaira DeAlto, a 42-year-old transgender woman, was killed in Boston on May 2.
Whispering Wind Bear Spirit, a 41-year-old Indigenous non-binary person, was shot in York, Pa., on May 3.
Sophie Vásquez, a 36-year-old Latina transgender woman, was shot in Georgia on May 4.
Danika "Danny" Henson, a 31-year-old Black transgender woman and a genderfluid person who had just begun their transition, was shot in Baltimore on May 4. They also went by Pryynce Daniel and Niia Da Don.
Serenity Hollis, a 24-year-old transgender woman, was shot in Albany, Ga., on May 8.
Oliver "Ollie" Taylor, a 17-year-old transgender boy, was kidnapped and shot in Gervais, Ore., on May 12.
Thomas Hardin, a 35-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed in South Carolina on May 2.
Poe Black, a 21-year-old transgender man, was killed in Niland, Calif., in early May. His body was not found until May 11. He also went by Oliver Jackson and Legion.
EJ Boykin, a 23-year-old Black transgender man, and father, was killed in Lynchburg, Va., on Jun. 14. He also went by Novaa Watson.
Aidelen Evans, a 24-year-old Black transgender woman, was found dead in Port Arthur, Texas, in March. Her death started being investigated as a homicide in July.
Taya Ashton, a 20-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed in George's County, Md., on Jul. 17.
Shai Vanderpump, a 23-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed in Trenton, N.J., on Jul. 30.
Tierramarie Lewis, a 36-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed in Cleveland on Jun. 12. Her death was only reported recently because of misgendering, misnaming, and lack of media coverage.
Miss CoCo, a 44-year-old transgender woman of color, was killed in Dallas on Aug. 7.
Pooh Johnson, a 25-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed in Shreveport, La., on Aug. 23.
Zoella "Zoey" Rose Martinez, a 20-year-old Latina transgender woman, was shot in Maple Valley, Wash., on Aug. 31. Her body was later found in Seattle and not recognized as transgender until November.
Disaya Monaee, a 32-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot in Chicago on Sept. 6.
Brianna Hamilton, a 25-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot in Chicago. Her body was found by police on Sept. 17.
Kiér Laprí Kartier, a 21-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot in Arlington, Texas, on Sept. 30.
Royal Poetical Starz, a 26-year-old Black trans woman, was shot in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Oct. 2.
Mel Groves, a 25-year-old Black transgender man, was shot in Jackson, Miss., on Oct. 11.