Local LGBTQ groups hold Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil

VIDEO: Local LGBTQ groups hold Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - On Friday, Charleston area LGBTQ groups came together to remember the lives of transgender men and women who have been murdered this year.

The event is in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day set aside each year to honor the lives lost to acts of anti-transgender violence.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 37 transgender and non-gender conforming individuals have been killed in 2020. Many of them were Black and Latinx trans-women.

Sunshine Goodman, a member of the Alliance for Full Acceptance, said the event is also held to recognize the people who are still alive.

“It’s important not just to remember those who have gone, but also lift up and encourage those who are living such as myself,” Goodman said. “The average life expectancy of a trans-woman of color is about 34 to 35. I’m 34 this year so I’m blessed to still be here.”

Although none of this year’s deaths happened in South Carolina, people also took time to remember the deaths that have happened locally over the years.

One of the names was Denali Stuckey, a transgender woman who was shot and killed in North Charleston last year.

“We have lost too many this year, too many over the past years, and you think that this might get easier, this is the 6th [event] I have done, and it does not get any easier,” said Lee Anne Leland, a Charleston Area Transgender Support Leader.

Attendees were also advocating for a hate crimes bill. South Carolina is one of three states that does not have a law in place.

Copyright 2020 WCSC. All rights reserved.