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Transgender Day of Remembrance honors victims of homicide and bigotry

November 17, 2017 - 4:00pm

Observance honors transgender victims of homicide and bigotry, while calling on all New Yorkers to build safer communities by accepting others.

Transgender Remembrance Day was established in the wake of the death of Rita Hester, a highly visible member of the transgender community murdered in Boston, Mass., in 1998.  This year alone, more than two dozen members of the transgender community have been murdered across the United States. This year’s deaths nationally have already eclipsed the number killed in 2016.  In New York alone, there have been three homicides of transgender people: Kashmire Redd of Gates in Monroe County, Josie Berrios of Ithaca in Tompkins County and Kenneth Bostick of New York City.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance pays homage to these losses and recognizes the disproportionate bigotry directed at transgender individuals: Nearly half of the roughly 27,000 transgender people surveyed in a national study conducted in 2015 indicated they were verbally harassed because of being transgender; about 9 percent said they had been attacked due to their gender identity. Today, we remember the fallen and call on New Yorkers to build safer communities by accepting others, including transgender people.

The New York State Office of Victim Services continues to do its part to support victims of crime during their time of need –especially those in marginalized groups. The agency supports 223 non-profit organizations across the state that assist victims, including some like the Albany-based In Our Own Voices and the New York City Anti-Violence Project that work specifically with the LGBTQ community.

For more information about services offered by the agency, including eligibility guidelines and a list of victim assistance programs that provide direct help, such as counseling and crisis intervention, advocacy and legal assistance, to crime victims across all 62 counties in New York, visit www.ovs.ny.gov or call 1-800-247-8035.

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