Several dozen peaceful demonstrators, including a rock band, gathered in an Echo Park intersection Friday evening in recognition of Transgender Day of Remembrance and Transgender Awareness Week.
The gathering took place at Sunset Boulevard and Logan Street, and by 7:30 p.m., there were about 100 people blocking the intersection but letting cars and buses slowly pass by.
“Today we mark Transgender Day of Remembrance, and we turn our hearts and our minds to all of those who have lost their lives to violence this year,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a video statement Friday.
“At least 36 transgender people, the majority of them Black and Latino transgender women, have been killed in 2020, but we know that number is likely higher because anti-transgender violence is so often unreported or misreported. So we mourn for all of those lost souls today.”
Los Angeles city officials gathered at 11 a.m. Wednesday for a virtual event for Transgender Awareness Week, which takes place annually in November.
The event included a moment of silence and a reading of the names of transgender and gender non-conforming people who were killed in the U.S. in 2020.
“Every day, I engage with transgender men and women who aren’t accepted by their families for who they are,” said Karina Samala, the chair of Los Angeles’ Transgender Advisory Council. “This event serves as a reminder that our lives matter, and we are making a difference in our communities in Los Angeles.”
Most recently, on Tuesday, a 39-year-old Latina transgender woman, Yunieski Carey Herrera, was fatally stabbed in Miami, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which said it believed her death was at least the 37th violent death of a transgender or gender non-conforming person this year in the U.S.
HRC recorded more violent deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people in 2020 than any year since it began tracking the violence in 2013.
“Every day is an opportunity to remember the trans community members whose lives were stolen by violence, as well as to fight alongside trans leaders in the fight for trans equality,” the Los Angeles LGBT Center said in a statement Friday.
“We celebrate important strides made by trans leaders to advance the rights and recognition of the trans and gender-nonconforming community, including the historic win by Sarah McBride, the first transgender state senator in history, and at least eight transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming state electoral victories in the November 2020 election.”