Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement regarding the Transgender Day of Remembrance, memorializing transgender Americans who have lost their lives as a result of violence:
"The Transgender Day of Remembrance will be commemorated in cities and countries around the world today, reflecting on those who have died as a result of fear, hate and transphobia.
"I stand proudly today -- and every day -- as an ally to the transgender community and to every person and family impacted by anti-transgender bullying and violence. Transgender people are part of the diversity that America celebrates today and they, like every American, deserve to live without fear of prejudice or violence.
"What Gwendolyn Ann Smith began as an online project in 1998 to memorialize Rita Hester's murder has today evolved to include hundreds of vigils and events in workplaces, churches and community centers around the world. I hope that this year's commemoration will serve as an opportunity to shine a brighter light on both progress made and the challenges ahead."