Presidential Primary Debate Failed to Mention Anti-Trans Violence on Transgender Day of Remembrance

NEW YORK – GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, tonight released the following statement at the conclusion of the fifth presidential primary debate in the key battleground state of Georgia, a debate which saw the media fail to mention the lives of at least 22 transgender Americans who have lost their lives due to anti-trans prejudice. This negligence only adds to the complete omission of LGBTQ issues on the national debate stage — similar to what happened in 2016.  

“Another Democratic debate has come and gone, and there were still zero direct questions about LGBTQ issues — not even a moment to recognize today’s Transgender Day of Remembrance and the lives we’ve lost due to the epidemic in anti-trans violence,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “It is a slap in the face to LGBTQ Americans that not one of the candidates nor the media could join in mourning the at least twenty-two transgender women of color killed this year in anti-transgender violence. Trans issues, specifically violence against transgender women of color, is an issue at the heart of the LGBTQ community — and it’s time for a leader who will work to stop the violence that trans people face.”

Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded by Gwendolyn Ann Smith in 1999 and is observed every year on Nov. 20. The day directly follows Transgender Awareness Week, which is held Nov. 13-19. In 2019 so far, at least 22 transgender people have been killed. Currently, President Trump and his administration have largely used their 130 anti-LGBTQ attacks to target transgender Americans — in schools, at the doctor’s office, and even in military service.