Happy New Year, Trans Doe Task Force family! We are looking forward to working on several cases which are in the lab process right now, headed to our forensic genetic genealogy team for identification if all goes well with the DNA extraction and sequencing. Some of our cases we will be able to make announcements about, but as always, we defer to the agencies in charge of the cases as to what can be shared with the public. This past year, we did make an identification via DNA, but are unable to share more at this time. We assure you, the genealogy work continues!
2023 was an exceptionally difficult year for the LGBTQ+ community. Hate crimes, especially against Trans people, increased exponentially over the year, and we also saw an increase in the number of LGBTQ+ people who have gone missing. This past year, we tracked or assisted with 750 new missing persons cases as well as more than 175 missing persons cases we had been tracking and assisting with in previous years. Most of our missing persons cases have resulted in a positive outcome with the missing person being found safe, but many more remain missing, and unfortunately several were found deceased. We again extend our sincerest condolences to the families. We identified 103 new possible LGBTQ+ unidentified persons cases and are researching and reaching out to agencies to offer our assistance. Several unidentified Trans people were identified this year, and have been returned to their loved ones. To date, we have located 38 unclaimed LGBTQ+ people. Of those, we have identified and submitted the next of kin for 5 in 2023, and will continue to work to get more of them returned to their loved ones in 2024. Our collaborative efforts to help compile information for the TDoR (Transgender Day of Remembrance) list have identified more than 85 Trans people who were killed or died of suicide during the reporting period prior to TDoR 2023.
As part of our efforts to care for the living as we remember the dead, we held an online Transgender Day of Remembrance event as we have in previous years, so that people who are unable to attend in-person events can have an opportunity to grieve in community. This past year, we were able to offer a new aftercare event to follow up on the processing of the heavy grief of TDoR. It is easy to burn out doing this work, or even just reading or hearing about it, and our team has been working to strengthen ourselves via continuing education so we might better support our supporters.
We would like to thank you all for another year of your support as we move into 2024 and reflect back on 2023. We would especially like to thank individuals and organizations who have contributed via donations and grants, enabling us to do this incredibly difficult work and to provide our services to agencies and families/chosen families at no cost to them. You are helping to make all of this possible, and we will continue to support and serve our community in the coming year.
Trans Doe Task Force - Board of Directors