President Joe Biden commemorated Transgender Day of Remembrance on Monday by pointing out how imperative it is for Americans to fight against transgender discrimination.
“There is no place for hate in America and no one should be discriminated against simply for being themselves,” Biden said in a statement, adding that at least 26 transgender Americans were killed in the past year.
It’s difficult to track trans killings because many victims are misgendered, and some cases are misreported or unreported, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Of the available data, Black trans women are the primary targets of fatal anti-trans violence, according to HRC, which declared a national state of emergency this year in response to the scores of proposed anti-LGBTQ bills across the nation.
This year, 586 anti-transgender bills were proposed across 49 states. Eighty-five have passed, 125 have been rejected and 376 are still active, according to the Trans Legislation Tracker. This is an increase from 2022, which saw 176 proposed bills, 26 of which had passed, the tracker reported. Many of the bills attack gender-affirming care, drag shows, books that have LGBTQ themes and trans student athletes.
For years, Biden has pledged to advocate for trans rights. In 2012, he said that trans discrimination is the “civil rights issue of our time.” During the president’s time in office, the administration discontinued a ban that prevented trans people from signing up for the military and has worked to improve mental health services for trans youth.
“We must never be silent in the face of hate,” Biden said in his Monday statement. “As we mourn the loss of transgender Americans taken too soon this year, we must also recommit ourselves to never stop fighting until all Americans can live free from discrimination.”