On #TransDayofRemembrance (and Every Day), We Implore You to Respect and Protect Trans Lives

(L-R) MJ Rodriguez, Hailie Sahar, Dominique Jackson, Janet Mock and Angelica Ross attend the FX ‘Pose’ Ball on June 2, 2018 in New York City.
(L-R) MJ Rodriguez, Hailie Sahar, Dominique Jackson, Janet Mock and Angelica Ross attend the FX ‘Pose’ Ball on June 2, 2018 in New York City.
Photo: Andrew Toth (Getty Images for FX Networks)

By all outward appearances, 2018 was a year of incredible progress for trans people. Of the triumphs: Christine Hallquist became the first trans person to be nominated for governor (of Vermont); at least one internationally-recognized company opted to recognize their trans employees by covering corrective surgeries in their health plans; more openly trans models made it to the runway and major campaigns; and FX’s Pose, the first television show to star a predominantly trans cast, was an instant hit and made history when writer and producer Janet Mock became the first trans woman to direct a television episode.


And yet, since the start of 2018, an estimated 23 lives have been lost due to anti-transgender violence, and those are just the known cases (some reports on trans murders are as high as 369 since September of 2017). As in past years, the victims were predominantly trans women, black and under the age of 35.

With that in mind, we recognize that the fight for trans equality and acceptance is unfortunately very far from over, as well as remembering the countless lives that have been lost to transphobic violence as it wages on. And on this #TransDayofRemembrance, we revisit some of the voices that urge not only our awareness but our compassion for our trans brothers and sisters and their right to survive and thrive.

As you visit with your families this holiday season, please consider doing your part to save trans lives by revisiting and sharing some or all of an array of recommended stories below that shine a light on trans identities and issues. More important, please remember and respect that humanity is not synonymous with heterosexuality. We are all a step closer to equality when we support the equality and safety of the most marginalized.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?



Part of ending the violence is acknowledging TERF behavior. I consider the Root to be some of the smartest black commentary on the internet but it even happens here.

I remember someone who is normally pretty eloquent and with it, say that most trans women bug her. When asked why, the reason given was because they act like they’re in competition with black women when they’re just men who transitioned to take away attention from them. I don’t know what kind of math she did to arrive at that answer.

Then there was some article about Prince Harry’s political views. I talked about how Munroe Bergdorf (the woman in the video’s thumbnail) was critical of the Royal Family and someone said they didn’t care what some white duchess had to say. So in their attempt to defend black women, their ignorance led to them erasing one.

Point blank, just because someone else is denied their rights, doesn’t mean you will get yours. It won’t make it harder for you when the people who have the ability to make it easier for you have shown they are not interested in that. Gabrielle Union’s time on “Red Table Talk” did a better job at explaining that than I ever could. Exclusion is insecurity, not a call for unity.