Nov 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden honors lives lost in deadliest year on record for transgender people

People rally and hold vigil on transgender day of remembrance to commemorate lost lives on Washington Square.
People rally and hold vigil on transgender day of remembrance to commemorate lost lives on Washington Square in New York. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

President Biden on Saturday marked Transgender Day of Remembrance and mourned "those we lost in the deadliest year on record for transgender Americans," according to a statement.

Driving the news: Biden also paid tribute to "the countless other transgender people—disproportionately Black and brown transgender women and girls—who face brutal violence, discrimination, and harassment."

  • The statement caps off Transgender Awareness Week, which ran from Nov. 13 to Nov. 19.
  • The Human Rights Campaign earlier this month declared 2021 the deadliest year on record for transgender and non-binary people, with at least 45 transgender or gender non-conforming people killed.
  • "In spite of our progress strengthening civil rights for LGBTQI+ Americans, too many transgender people still live in fear and face systemic barriers to freedom and equality," Biden said.

The big picture: Biden in his statement also called for the Senate to pass the Equality Act "so that all people are able to live free from fear and discrimination."

  • The administration also released a report from the Interagency Working Group on Safety, Opportunity, and Inclusion for Transgender and Gender Diverse Individuals, highlighting steps the administration is taking to address transgender violence.
  • Among the steps, the administration seeks to expand the availability of accurate Federal IDs for transgender and gender diverse Americans and increase access to gender-affirming health care, per the statement.

What he's saying: "To ensure that our government protects the civil rights of transgender Americans, I charged my team with coordinating across the federal government to address the epidemic of violence and advance equality for transgender people," Biden said.

  • "I continue to call on state leaders and lawmakers to combat the disturbing proliferation of discriminatory state legislation targeting transgender people, especially transgender children."

Go deeper: Biden calls on state lawmakers to defeat anti-LGBTQ bills

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