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Attendees at Transgender Day of Remembrance recall loved ones, hopes for the future

Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil held in San Francisco
Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil held in San Francisco 02:56

SAN FRANCISCO — Many of the people who participated in Monday night's Transgender Day of Remembrance said they either knew a trans person who died or have been victims of violence themselves.

Johna Ramirez fled her home country of El Salvador 10 years ago after she was attacked multiple times simply for being a trans woman.

"The third time I was in a coma for two days because of the beating they did to me, from what they did to me," said Ramirez.

Ramirez told KPIX she was one of the lucky ones, able to get out of there and to a much safer life in San Francisco.

She said many of her friends were not as fortunate.

"We were about one hundred friends, and currently there's only five of us alive," said Ramirez.

It is that grief of losing so many friends that brings Johna to this day of remembrance, but she said just as strong as her feelings of grief is her hope for a brighter future.

"When have to bring this message to all the United States, that we are people who feel — that we love. We have families, and we want to be part of all the parts of society. And this day is to commemorate to all those people that opened a path for us, so the new generation have a better quality of life," said Ramirez.

She marched to remember all the friends she lost back home as well as for all those still fighting for their right to simply live in peace. 

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