Why we’re uplifting the lives of transgender people stolen from us

We are humbled and excited to announce an ongoing series called When You Were Here, commemorating transgender people in America whose lives were stolen by violence.

Trans people are over four times more likely than cisgender people to be victims of violent crime, according to the Williams Institute. The majority of these people were Black and Latinx transgender women.

Too often these stories go unreported or misreported, and when they are covered, the reporting of those killed is brief, sterile and dehumanizing, and the specifics are brutally numbing.

At Reckon, we are charting a new course for covering this problem, from the perspective of the folks who are most impacted: trans people and the people who fiercely loved them.

We wanted to do something different to honor their full humanity. Rather than centering their murders, our stories incorporate memories from people who loved them to illuminate the times when they were alive — when they were here.

“By sharing the life these people lived prior to their deaths, I hope we collectively reignite their humanity,” writes Reckon’s LGBTQ communities reporter, Denny Agassi, in the series introduction.

“Despite the brutality, I am less invested in the specifics of their exit and I am more invested in the time they spent living.”

Denny, a trans woman of color herself, will be doing the tough work of speaking to grieving loved ones and continuing this coverage for the foreseeable future. Abbey Crain, author of the Honey newsletter and Reckon’s creative strategist, illustrates the series.

We hope you read, share with your networks and, above all, remember.

Read Denny’s first story. Sign up for the Honey newsletter where we’ll feature future stories from the series.

If you have any questions or tips, email

Michelle Zenarosa

Michelle Zenarosa

Michelle Zenarosa is Reckon's Deputy Editor. Michelle has nearly 20 years experience in journalism and media-making through a social justice lens.

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