We have sad news from Los Angeles. Yet another transgender American has died to violence.
According to Los Angeles’ CBS affiliate KCAL9, families, friends, and community members are mourning the death of 26-year-old Rayanna Pardo. A candlelit vigil hosted by the Trans Latina Coalition took place in East LA on March 20. At the event, participants shared words of love for the fallen and recited the BLM and trans-awareness chant “Say her name… Rayanna Pardo.”
According to local police, Pardo was killed on Wednesday, March 17, at E. 5th St and S. Eastern Ave. It’s believed that Pardo was hit by a car as she was running away from a group harassing her. Footage shows the young woman heading down Eastern Avenue in distress just moments before her death.
According to the family, who have gathered at the location every night since Pardo’s passing, this was not the first time that Rayanna Pardo suffered from harassment. The family is now pushing for the Los Angeles Police Department to investigate the incident further. They wish to see justice for their fallen loved one.
“Everybody should just love everybody,” Armando Rangel, Jr., the victim’s brother, said at the vigil. “At the end of the day that’s all we have is one another.”
According to the HRC, Rayanna Pardo is now the 12th known violent death of a transgender or non-binary person in America this year. And, unfortunately, similar deaths often go unreported. Previous to this, 2020 was considered the deadliest year for transgender and gender non-conforming people. But with the year already seeing 12 deaths in three months, 2021 is threatening to beat that record.
“The violence that transgender and gender non-conforming people face is alarming,” said Tori Cooper, HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. “When I watched that video, I felt her fear and my heart broke for her and her family. Rayanna deserved to live her life to its fullest, not for her life to be cut short. Our hearts go out to Rayanna’s friends and family, and everyone affected by this tragedy. We need action now to protect trans lives and bring this epidemic of violence to an end.”