The Los Angeles City Council declared November to be Transgender Awareness Month on Friday, and reiterated its commitment to doing right by one of the most vulnerable populations in the United States.
“Today, we are here to further our goal of keeping the city’s transgender community visible and safe,” Transgender Advisory Council Karina Samala said. Samala was among those who commemorated the month alongside Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O’Farrell at Friday’s City Council meeting.
“Prior to the council meeting, O’Farrell led a prayer in Los Angeles City Hall’s third-floor bridge art gallery, where a banner hangs, titled “Remembering Transgender American Lives Lost in 2019” with information on transgender people who were killed.
“This year to date, we lost at least 22 transgender or gender-nonconforming people in the United States, the majority of whom were black transgender women, due to violence,” O’Farrell said. “It is clear that deadly assaults disproportionately affect transgender women of color. However, these transgender community members are not statistics. They were brave human beings who lived their lives unapologetically, proud of who they were and the communities they were part of.”
Los Angeles Police Department Commander Gerald Woodyard said hate crimes against transgender people between 2014 and 2018 were about 94 percent higher than other demographics, based on a Los Angeles County study.
Transgender youth are also at a higher risk of homelessness, according to Los Angeles Controller Ron Galperin. Up to 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ, according to the Controller’s office.