Transgender Day of Remembrance is this coming Friday, and LGBTQ communities across Florida will host vigils to recognize transgender lives who were lost through acts of violence.
One of those remembered will be Bree Black, a black transgender woman who was found dead in July by a gunshot wound in Broward County, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
Another name is Tony McDade, a black transgender man killed by Tallahassee Police who were responding to a deadly stabbing incident in late May.
And in 2018, four transgender women of color and an African-American gay man – possibly tied to the same drag show touring circuit – were murdered in Florida, according to the Florida Phoenix.
The murders spread fear through the LGBTQ community, with activists banding together to demand more action from state leaders and from law enforcement.
The vigils follow Transgender Awareness Week in Florida between Nov. 13 and Nov. 19, to spread awareness about people whose gender identity does not match the gender they were assigned at birth.
Florida Rep. Anna Eskamani, a Democrat who represents part of Orange County, used her twitter as a platform for the awareness week.
She tweeted: “November 13 – 19 marks #TransgenderAwarenessWeek to help raise the visibility about transgender people and address critical issues members of the community face. #TransLivesMatter and we are proud to support our trans and gender non-conforming communities.”
Meanwhile, Sarah McBride, of Delaware, is the first transgender state senator elected in U.S. history. She was elected in November and will be sworn in January 2021.