Joe Biden and Kamala Harris honoured the at least 37 Americans to fall victim to transphobic violence this year. (Getty)
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris marked Trans Day of Remembrance by honouring the at least 37 trans people killed in America this year.
The president-elect reaffirmed his pledge to support, protect and empower transgender citizens in a sobering but hopeful statement.
“In so many ways, 2020 has been a year of tremendous suffering and loss,” Biden wrote, acknowledging that this year has been the most violent on record for trans people.
“At least 37 transgender and gender-nonconforming people have been killed this year, most of them Black and brown transgender women,” he continued. “It’s intolerable.
“On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honour their lives — and recommit to the work that remains to ensure that every transgender and gender-nonconforming person in America has the opportunity to live authentically, earn a living wage, and be treated with dignity and respect in their communities and workplaces.”
Biden reiterated that as part of this remembrance, “we must work to end the epidemic of violence and discrimination against transgender and gender-nonconforming Americans and never repeat it”.
“Transgender rights are human rights,” he continued. “To transgender and gender-nonconforming people across America and around the world: from the moment I am sworn in as president of the United States, know that my administration will see you, listen to you, and fight for not only your safety but also the dignity and justice you have been denied.”
His words were echoed by vice president-elect Harris, who reiterated the horrific statistics of 2020, and vowed: “Today and every day we must recommit to ending this epidemic.”
On this Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor the memory of the at least 37 transgender or gender-nonconforming people killed this year—the majority of whom were Black and Latinx transgender women.
Today and every day we must recommit to ending this epidemic. #TDOR
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) November 20, 2020
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will reverse Donald Trump’s transphobia.
Throughout their election campaign, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris promised to improve trans rights in all arenas.
“A Biden-Harris administration will consider every tool available to reverse Trump’s damaging policies and restore and advance critical protections, equality and equity for the LGBTQ+ community,” Reggie Greer, LGBTQ+ vote director for the Biden campaign, said in a statement to The 19th.
“When the history books are written, I am certain that advancing LGBTQ+ equality will be one of the Biden-Harris administration’s top achievements.”
The president-elect has said he will “flat out” change the law to undo the raft of transphobic policies brought in by Donald Trump and to make America a safer place to be trans. Notably, Trump has remained silent on Trans Day of Remembrance.
Biden became the first president-elect to mention trans people in his victory speech, in what onlookers hope is a sure sign that actions will follow.
Harris has also championed trans rights, having previously come under criticism for her actions as California attorney general.
In 2015, the vice president-elect argued that two prisoners should not receive state-funded gender confirmation surgery.
However, during a September 2019 LGBTQ Presidential Forum she argued that she was merely carrying out her job at the time, acting on behalf of her client the California Department of Corrections.
Behind the scenes, she said, she worked with the department to change its policy, and throughout her campaign pledged to protect trans people.