Dozens gather in South Carolina for vigil to mark deaths of 26 trans people

Dozens of people gathered near the State House in Columbia, South Carolina, to remember the record number of trans people who have been killed unlawfully in the US this year.

Despite the event being an annual one, this year has an even more sombre tone as this year on 11 November, became the deadliest year ever for trans people in the US.

GLAAD noted that the number of trans people killed so far in 2016 was 24. The number has now risen to 26.

Some killings are also not recorded as hate crimes or the correct gender identity is never given on police reports, so some believe the number to be higher.

GLAAD notes that the majority of trans people are of colour.

In South Carolina, candles were lit, and a small demonstration took place to mark the deaths of the 26.

“We read the names of those who were killed violently because of being trans,” said Kate Hoffman of the Harriet Hancock LGBT Center.

“Due to the increase amounts of hate speech because of the election season, there was a concern for safety and publicity. So there is a lot of youth who aren’t going to be here and most of those are trans youth of color,” Hoffman adds.

“So we can’t promise youth that they are safe. I can’t promise them that they are safe and I can protect you because that’s not a reasonable promise I can make. But I can tell them you are safe with me and we are safe together.”

“Unfortunately it’s impossible to even know or have the statistics to read all of the names of the people who were lost due to the stigma attached to being trans.”