PHILADELPHIA–In honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health issues the following statement:

“In recognizing Transgender Day of Remembrance, we solemnly reflect on the lives of at least 26 transgender and gender non-conforming individuals in Philadelphia whose existence has been tragically cut short through violent means in 2023,” said Division of HIV Health Director Dr. Kathleen Brady. “We stand together, both saddened and infuriated, as we grapple with the stark reality that 88% of these victims were people of color, with 54% identified as Black transgender women. This alarming trend underscores the urgent need for greater awareness, understanding, and action to address the ongoing threats faced by the trans community.”

“The heartbreaking statistics reveal that 73% of the victims lost their lives to gun violence, emphasizing the pressing need for comprehensive measures to curb the proliferation of firearms. Equally concerning is the fact that 47% of victims with a known assailant were killed by a romantic/sexual partner, friend, or family member. This underscores the critical importance of fostering safe and supportive environments within interpersonal relationships.”

“Adding to the tragedy, 50% of the victims were misgendered or deadnamed by authorities or the press, compounding the pain experienced by the trans community and their loved ones. It is imperative that we work collectively to rectify this injustice and ensure the dignity and respect every individual deserves, regardless of their gender identity.”

“As we honor Transgender Day of Remembrance, let us renew our commitment to advocating for the rights, safety, and well-being of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. Together, we must strive for a world where everyone can live free from discrimination, violence, and prejudice. The Health Department remains steadfast in its dedication to fostering a community that embraces diversity, inclusivity, and compassion, and we call on all citizens to join us in this crucial endeavor.”