A solemn gathering marked Transgender Day of Remembrance in South Florida, where a community gathered to pay tribute and memorialize the people who lost their lives to anti-transgender violence.
A group at Barry University came together Tuesday to honor those who died and vowed to make things better for the living.
"It gives us a chance to honor all of the beautiful people who were lost to anti-trans violence," said organizer L.J. Woolston.
The event was also an opportunity to honor people who have died from systemic violence and suicide.
Woolston's partner, a transgender woman, committed suicide about two years ago.
"It's always been important to me, but now it's even more important," Woolston said. "This day was really sacred to her, and in turn, has become sacred to me in honoring her memory: Diana Hemingway."
The solemn group at Barry University wrote down the names of the hundreds of people killed around the world in 2018.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 19 transgender individuals were murdered in 2017, and another 22 in 2018, where 82 percent of the victims were transgender women of color. This year is on track to become one of the most violent years for trans people.
The day of remembrance had evolved to recognize that "transgender women of color, particularly black trans women of color, are facing the bulk of this discrimination and violence," according to the Human Rights Campaign.
"It's just really important to do things like this to show that unfortunately, the only way to show for these people that we actually care is once they've passed on," said event organizer Logan Meza.
A report released by the FBI last week found anti-LGBTQ hate crimes rose 3 percent in 2017, and more than 16 percent of federally reported hate crimes target the LGBTQ community.
"Just because you may not know someone, or may not understand the struggle or even share the same struggle, it's really important to honor somebody’s humanity as a human being," Meza said.