13th annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance

More than 200 people braved the cold outside of city hall for the 13th annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Those in attendance gathered together to not pay their respect but to remember those that have died at the hands of others or by their own.

"We are memorializing those who've been murdered in the last year for being gender diverse or being perceived as being gender diverse," 2015 chairperson of the Austin Transgender Day of Remembrance, Stephanie Martinez said.

Martinez said there have been 21 deaths over the past year, including two in Texas. A number that appears to be growing.

"That is almost double the number we had last year," Martinez said. "We don't know whether that is because we've had better reporting because of more gender diversity, people understanding that, or if it is because people are being attacked more. "

Organizers say that events such as this not only help remember those that have lost their lives but also help break the stigma of fear and misunderstanding.

"Events like this just basically strengthen that bond for acceptance," Danielle Harvey, Martinez's niece, said. "That we all are apart of the same, that we are all one in the same. We have a lot in common."

For Stephanie, the nights tribute is also an opportunity to help break the stigma of fear and misunderstanding.

"I think for the community coming together we kind of, well we are memorializing people but we are also kind of making a promise together  that we are going to need to make a change." Martinez said, "That we are here, that we are being visible, we are supporting one another and that visibility is what makes all the difference. If people, once they know you they tend to be kind of less afraid of you."

While the memory of those lost will never be forgotten, Harvy said that those who feel lost and alone should not forget that they are loved and they matter.

"We want to make them realize that they are not forgotten, they were loved, and we don't want this to continue. It is unacceptable for this to continue for people to not feel like they are people. They are human beings, they are lives, they are sisters and brothers and uncles and aunts and grandmas and grandpas and mothers and fathers they are people and they matter," Harvey said.