Rain drenched Wilton Manors on Nov. 20, each drop representing a tear shed for the dozens of trans lives lost this year.

A Trans Day of Remembrance (TDoR) program was held at The Pride Center.

As people made their way down the center aisle of chairs they were faced with two huge banners bearing the pictures and names of trans men and women who have been murdered in the past year. The 42 faces shown are nearly double the number who died in 2021.

One of those was Elise Malary from Evanston, Illinois. In her picture she’s wearing a shirt that reads “You deserve more than survival.” Survival is what many in the trans community aspire to. From being bullied by governments to workplace discrimination and more, fully capable human beings still find themselves struggling to attain the basics of life. Many commented on how good the food was, and there were plenty of to-go boxes packed up.

The room, filled with trans brothers and sisters, activists, and allies, was reminded that the average life expectancy for trans people is 35 years old. Many of the victims were Black trans women. Also, there were more victims from Florida and Texas than other states. Advocates are quick to draw the line from hateful laws and rhetoric from the government to an increase in victims.

As governments demonize the trans community, people feel empowered to strike out with their own twisted form of vigilantism.

Don’t Survive... Thrive!

Many performers and speakers took the microphone. One was trans activist and business owner Carvelle Estriplet, owner of Carvelle Bikes in Wilton Manors. Before the event, she talked with SFGN about the four Ts of trans.

“There are many Ts that go into the T of trans. There’s truth, talent, transcendent and togetherness. I call TDoR not just a day of remembrance, but of resilience. It’s a day we remember our lost siblings.”

Also taking the podium was Tatiana Williams, Executive Director of Transinclusive Group, and her Deputy Director Nic Zantop. They were joined by Adrianna Tender, Transinclusive Group’s Program Coordinator, Jessmarie Gonzalez, the CEO of The Transgender Housing Project and a specialist at Care Resource, Tommy Murrell of 3T Fitness, and Jasmine McKenzie The McKenzie Project.

Kiowa Awohali set the mood for the evening by playing piano before the program. Other performers were Tayanna Love, Tasha Long, Rolly Villaverde, and Julianna Rivera, all from the Miss Florida pageant system.