On Wednesday (Nov. 20), LGBTQ activists everywhere are observing Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual honoring of those whose lives were lost in acts of hateful violence against the transgender community. According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 22 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been violently killed in the U.S. in 2019 alone.
Billboard Pride sat down with recording artists Nomi Ruiz and Ryan Cassata to discuss the annual observance and the often-difficult reality of living as a trans person in 2019. "How do I live my life knowing that this is the world we live in, that we're just not safe?" Ruiz asks, before Cassata adds, "How can we make this stop?"
Ruiz starts off the conversation by asking what goes through Cassata's mind when he sees another example of a transgender person being violently attacked. "The first thing I feel is anger, usually," he responds. "Helpless, too, like, how do we do something quickly?" Ruiz adds that public visibility for the transgender community is of the utmost importance, but that it also has a dark effect on some. "Along with visibility comes resistance, and there are a lot of trans women out there that are suffering at the hands of that resistance."