Transgender Day of Remembrance was held around the world on Monday to memorialize the lives of transgender and non-binary individuals who have been murdered because of their identities, and raise awareness regarding the high rates of violence against the transgender community. Students and faculty at UNC also took part in the annual observance.
Alli Whitenack, co-chair of Carolina Advocating for Gender Equity, said TDOR is important because of the extreme violence against transgender people every year that goes practically unnoticed.
“I think a lot of people are unaware of the high rates of violence against trans people, and the only way to be able to prevent this violence and keep it from being perpetuated is to make more people aware of it,” Whitenack said.
In 2017 alone, at least 25 transgender people have been murdered in the United States, according to the Human Rights Campaign. April Callis, assistant director of the LGBTQ Center, said finding these statistics is difficult, because violence against transgender individuals often goes unreported.
For Transgender Day of Remembrance, Callis researched all the murders of transgender individuals in North America and found biographical details for each person to include on a memorial placard to be displayed in the Pit, accompanied by paper roses made out of trans flag colors by UNC students. Callis said there were 76 placards.