The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Inga Sarda-Sorensen, Director of Communications

(Office) 646.358.1463 (Cell) 202.641.5592

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Commemorates Transgender Day of Remembrance


The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force commemorates the Transgender
Day of Remembrance today, a time when the lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender (LGBT) community remembers people lost to anti-transgender
violence over the past year. The Task Force honors the memory of the 30
transgender people killed internationally in 2008, up from 11 last year.

This year marks the 10th year that the Transgender Day of
Remembrance has been commemorated. A list of transgender people lost to
violence can be found at
One of the most recent addition to the list is Duanna Johnson, who was
an African-American transgender woman living in Memphis, Tenn.; she had
been beaten on camera by Memphis police at the police station in
February and had filed suit against them. She was found shot in the
head on Nov. 9. Last Friday, Latiesha Green, 22, was shot to death in
Syracuse, N.Y.

The Task Force encourages everyone to attend the commemorative events occurring nationwide. View the list here.
There are 11 states with hate crimes laws that cover the transgender
community. The federal hate crimes bill - the Matthew Shepard Act -
which includes protections for transgender victims, has passed several
votes in the U.S. House and Senate, yet never made it to the
president's desk because of a threat of veto from President Bush.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"The Task Force family joins in the somber remembrance of all we
have lost this year, and we pledge to continue our work until all are
safe and protected. How many must perish before our society says enough
is enough? How many more like Duanna and Latiesha must spill blood
before our society says no to harassment, no to discrimination, and no
to violence against transgender people? We must move forward, at all
levels of government, to pass laws that fight hate in schools, in
workplaces and on the streets. We must continue working toward a
culture that affirms the dignity and worth of all people."

National survey on transgender discrimination under way

The Task Force and National Center for Transgender Equality have
teamed up on a comprehensive national survey to collect data on
discrimination against transgender people in housing, employment,
public accommodations, health care, education, family life and criminal
justice. The data will assist in efforts to pass inclusive
nondiscrimination measures. The investigation will strengthen any case
made to legislators, policy makers, health care providers and others
whose decisions impact the lives of transgender people.

The questionnaire can be completed online at

The survey is also available in Spanish and can be completed online at

The National LGBTQ Task Force advances full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ people. We are building a future where everyone can be free to be their entire selves in every aspect of their lives. Today, despite all the progress we've made to end discrimination, millions of LGBTQ people face barriers in every aspect of their lives: in housing, employment, healthcare, retirement, and basic human rights. These barriers must go. That's why the Task Force is training and mobilizing millions of activists across our nation to deliver a world where you can be you. Join us!