Milwaukee Transgender Day of Remembrance: ‘We deserve to thrive’
The Human Rights Campaign says so far in 2022, 32 people who are transgender have been killed. The majority are women of color, including Brazil Johnson and Mya Allen in Milwaukee.
MILWAUKEE – On Transgender Day of Remembrance, or TDOR, the Milwaukee LGBTQ community remembered the transgender people killed in the last year. TDOR was Sunday, Nov. 20, the same day five people were killed at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs in a massacre that left at least 25 others hurt.
On the outside of the Milwaukee bar “This is It,” there was only one small sign letting people know there was an event going on because they know each decoration can make them a target.
“We’re struggling here,” said Akari Wilder, Diverse & Resilient transgender outreach coordinator. “People are not here for us in the ways that they should be, and it’s disheartening.”
Diverse & Resilient helped organize the TDOR event. They added security measures, like not allowing large bags, after the shooting at an LGBTQ bar in Colorado Springs.
“That’s not far away from us, right? That’s real. Pulse is real,” said Wilder. “All these situations are very real, and it makes you really think.”
In the end, the group decided not to cancel the event because this day was about them: the 32 transgender people killed so far in 2022.
Brazil Johnson, Regina “Mya” Allen
The Human Rights Campaign tracks transgender deaths across America. The majority are women of color, including Brazil Johnson and Mya Allen in Milwaukee.
“This has honestly been like, one of my worst nightmares,” said Elle Halo, founder of Trance-Consulting.
Halo said it’s been a difficult year for the transgender community.
“When trans women are killed, they are often misgendered,” said Halo. “They are often deadnamed, sometimes never identified at all.”
On Sunday, they loudly said the names of Mya Allen and Brazil Johnson.
They said what the community can do is simple: treat them with respect.
“We deserve to thrive,” said Wilder. “We don’t just deserve to exist. We deserve to thrive. We deserve to have love.”
Clayton Hubbird is charged in the death of Allen. There have been no arrests connected to the death of Johnson.
There is a $28,000 reward being offered for information that leads to an arrest.