A vigil was held Friday night to honor transgender women whose lives were taken in the United States this year. The event was organized by the Borderland Rainbow Center in Central El Paso.

Among those honored was 25-year-old Johana Medina, a migrant from El Salvador that died in El Paso after being released from the Otero County Processing Center. The BRC says violence against transgender women happens with ignorance and hate are allowed to thrive. 

“It stems from the same place of the idea of we don’t understand you we don’t get what you’re about so that makes us scared of you so let’s just erase you,” Ashley Heidebrecht with the Borderland Rainbow Center explained. 

The center says the main goal of Friday night’s event was to raise awareness and promote compassion. Events will be ongoing through the month of June to celebrate PRIDE month in El Paso. The BRC holds events throughout the year to promote healthy conversations around sexual identity and pride.