The first Transgender Day of Rememberance was held on November 20, 1999. This vigil was held to commemorate the tragic killing of Rita Hester, a Black transgender woman.
Along with Rita Hester, the lives of Chanelle Pickett and Monique Thomas also aided in the inception of Transgender Day of Rememberance.
After Rita Hester was tragically killed in her own home, her family and friends grieved her loss. Throughout this grieving process, they were disgusted with how Rita was deadnamed, misgendered, and insulted, as the media reported her passing. This sparked a movement to remember transgender and gender non-conforming individuals in an honoring and respectful way.
Since this moment 24 years ago, this important day has been recognized by several countries. In 2017, the Canadian province of Ontario passed an act officially recognizing and observing a moment of silence each year for this day of remembrance. The United States recognized the Transgender Day of Remembrance in 2020.
Jasmine “Star” Mack
Jasmine, a Black transgender woman, was described as a “sweet person” by her sister, Pamela Witherspoon, who also said that she “loved to sing gospel songs and was an excellent actor.”
Jasmine was 36 years old when she was killed on January 7, 2023, in Washington, D.C.
KC Johnson’s partner Bulla Brodzinski remembered her as being “kind and caring”.
The 27-year-old white Transgender woman was killed in Wilmington, North Carolina on January 14, 2023, after being declared missing on January 13.
A 26-year-old Indigenous queer and non-binary individual, Tortuguita, was an environmental activist and community organizer. They are remembered as someone who “brought an indescribable jubilance to each and every moment of their life” and “fought tirelessly to honor and protect the sacred land of the Weelaunee Forest.”
Tortuguita was shot and killed by Georgia state troopers in Atlanta, Georgia on January 18, 2023 during an ongoing protest in the Weelaunee Forest in Atlanta.
Maria Jose Rivera Rivera
Maria Jose was a 22-year-old Latina who was described as “lively, funny, and dynamic” and “a joy to work with”.
She was found fatally shot in Houston on January 21, 2023. She was one of two people found dead at an apartment complex in an apparent murder-suicide.
Unique Banks, a 21-year-old Latina transgender woman, was killed along with her mother, Alexsandra Olmo, in a mass shooting on January 23, 2023, in Chicago.
Three other people, including two other transgender women, were also attacked and left in critical condition during the shooting.
Zachee was a Black transgender woman who immigrated to the U.S. from Rwanda. She was described as “well-loved by family, friends, and coworkers, and that she lived her life bravely and authentically.”
Zachee was tragically killed on February 3, 2023 in Louisville, Kentucky in the parking lot of her workplace.
Chashay was a 31-year-old Black transgender woman described as “a bubbly spirit with a down to earth, tell it like it is personality” who was “as beautiful as can be, inside and out.”
Cashay was shot in Milwaukee on Febreuary 26, 2023.
Tasiyah was a “high-spirited” Black transgender woman who was known for being “protective of those she loved.” Her aunt stated that “she made everyone around her know that they were loved.”
Tasiyah was killed in St. Mary’s County, Maryland on March 24, 2023.
Ashley was a 37-year-old Black transgender woman. She was described as “a courageous fighter” and was praised for her authenticity.
Tragically, Ashley was killed in Atlanta, Georgia on April 11, 2023.
Koko Da Doll
Koko Da Doll was a 35-year-old Black transgender woman, a successful rapper working on new music, and starred in the award-winning Sundance Film Festival documentary, “Kokomo City.”
She was found shot to death near an Atlanta shopping plaza on April 18, 2023.
Banko Brown was a 24-year-old Black transgender man who is remembered as being “brilliant” and as someone who made “everybody laugh”.
He was killed by an armed security guard in San Francisco after an altercation with an armed security guard at a local Walgreens store on April 27, 2023.
A 34-year-old Black transgender woman, Ashia, was from Detroit and known as being full of joy and devoted to her faith.
On June 2, 2023, the second day of Pride Month, Ashia was found dead in a Highland Park hotel room.
Chanell Perez Ortiz
Chanell was a 29-year-old Puerto Rican transgender woman. She was a cosmetologist interested in fashion, makeup, and hair.
Chanell was killed in Carolina, Puerto Rico, on June 25, 2023.
Jacob was an 18-year-old transgender man that loved to sing and draw. He worked at a local Waffle House, was beloved by his coworkers, and even moved in with one of them a month prior to his passing.
Jacob was killed in Monroe, South Carolina, on June 30, 2023.
A 21-year-old white transgender man, Camdyn, was eight months pregnant at the time of his murder on July 21, 2023 in Winter Park, Florida.
He had recently posted about how excited he was to welcome his child into the world. Camdyn was killed by his partner, Riley Groover, during an argument.
DéVonnie J’Rae Johnson
DéVonnie was a 28-year-old Black transgender woman and a vibrant artist born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Those around her called her “a well-loved and cherished friend and member of the community.”
She was shot and killed on August 7, 2023, during an altercation with a security guard just one day after her birthday.
Luis Ángel Díaz Castro
A transgender man from Puerto Rico, Luis studied at The Universidad de Puerto Rico en Arecibo and worked at the Department of Education. He loved Latin music and artists such as Hector Maysonet and Chema.
Luis Ángel was tragically murdered on August 12, 2023 at 22 years old. The person accused of killing him is currently in police custody.
Thomas ‘Tom-Tom’ Robertson
Thomas was a 28-year-old Black gender non-conforming person who lived in East Chicago. They were known for changing the color and style of their hair and showcasing their creativity online.
On August 17, 2023, Thomas and a 25-year-old individual were victims of a fatal shooting in Calumet City, Indiana.
Sherlyn was a 35-year-old Latino transgender woman, was beloved by her local LGBTQ+ community, was a drag performer, and is remembered by her friends as “the best impersonator in Tijuana”.
She was killed on September 17, 2023 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Sherlyn’s former intimate partner has been charged with her murder.
A talented nonbinary artist, YOKO was a tattoo artist, model, art show curator, DJ, and muralist. Their family and friends remember YOKO as “an exceptional, joyful, absurdly talented, and extremely loving and gentle human.”
YOKO was tragically killed on September 19, 2023 as they were struck and killed by an SUV driver who fled the scene.
Chyna was a 30-year-old Black transgender woman who lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was a dance choreographer and is remembered by her friends, family, and the local LGBTQ+ community in Milwaukee.
Chyna was fatally shot on October 8, 2023 and the perpetrator has since been arrested and charged.
Also known as A’nee Roberson, A’nee Johnson was a 30-year-old Black transgender women from Washington D.C.
She was killed on October 14, 2023 in which she was pushed into a roadway and struck by a car. Detectives are still investigating to find the person who assaultled her and caused her death.