President-elect Joe Biden marked Transgender Day of Remembrance on Friday, promising to fight for the trans community as it faces growing violence.
“On Transgender Day of Remembrance, we honor their lives — and recommit to the work that remains to ensure that every transgender and gender-nonconforming person in America has the opportunity to live authentically, earn a living wage, and be treated with dignity and respect in their communities and workplaces,” Biden said in a statement.
At least 37 transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals have been killed in the U.S. this year. The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, announced in October that 2020 marked the deadliest year for the community since it began recording the fatalities in 2013.
Biden called the unprecedented levels of violence an “epidemic of violence and discrimination.”
“Transgender rights are human rights,” Biden said. “To transgender and gender-nonconforming people across America and around the world: from the moment I am sworn in as president of the United States, know that my administration will see you, listen to you, and fight for not only your safety but also the dignity and justice you have been denied.”
Biden has a history of publicly supporting the trans community. Delaware state Sen.-elect Sarah McBride (D), the first openly transgender state senator to be elected in U.S. history, spoke about the support she’s received from the Biden family over the years in an interview with The Hill last month.
“He is uniquely able to help people find that light again and find that hope again. He’s done it for me, and I know he’ll do it for this country,” McBride said.
McBride is among eight transgender, nonbinary and gender-nonconforming candidates elected to state legislatures across the country in 2020.