Transgender Law Center mourns news today that Brandi Seals, a 26-year-old Black trans woman from Houston, was murdered early yesterday morning. She is the 28th transgender person known to have been murdered this year. The majority of those murdered have been Black trans women.

Isa Noyola, deputy director of Transgender Law Center, the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people, issued the following statement:

“It seems like every day of 2017 the trans community wakes up to a new heartbreak. We mourn the loss of this beautiful young woman, and of the far too many others who have been taken from us this year.

Mourning, however, is not enough, nor is advocating for trans rights without confronting the deep racism and anti-blackness that define life in this country. This violence will continue until our country values and respects the lives of trans women of color, and specifically Black trans women. That looks like ensuring access to health care and employment, so our communities have options for survival beyond the streets. It means decriminalizing sex work so that people can earn a living safely. It means an end to policy and legislation that would label us as criminals simply for who we are, like the bill that almost passed this summer in Texas, where Brandi was murdered.

The solution to violence is not harsher sentences for each individual who murders us, but rather to value our lives in the first place.”