According to recent data released by the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ+ rights organization in the United States, at least 33 transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals have been killed since November of last year.
The report highlights the widespread violence faced by trans and gender-nonconforming people, particularly young Black trans women. However, the actual number of deaths is believed to be higher due to underreporting and the failure to identify victims as transgender in police reports.
Kelley Robinson, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, described the violence against trans and gender-nonconforming people as a national disgrace. In a statement, Robinson said, “Each life lost is a tragedy and reflects a society that devalues individuals who challenge traditional gender norms.”
On the 24th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, President Joe Biden condemned the violence against transgender individuals, calling it unacceptable. He mourned the loss of 26 transgender Americans this year, emphasizing that the true number is likely even higher, with women of color representing the majority of victims.
The report released by the Human Rights Campaign pays tribute to each of the 33 victims by sharing their stories. It highlights individuals like Banko Brown, a Black trans man described as a brilliant community organizer, and Koko Da Doll, a loving transgender woman and rapper from Atlanta.
The report also reveals that gun violence is a significant factor in the deaths of trans and gender-nonconforming individuals. Since 2013, over 200 trans people have been killed with firearms, with transgender women of color under the age of 35 constituting three-quarters of the victims.
The alarming rise in fatal violence against trans and gender-nonconforming individuals has occurred within the past three years, coinciding with increased hostility towards the LGBTQ+ community from conservative politicians and public figures.
The Human Rights Campaign calls for stronger legal protections, especially non-discrimination laws, to ensure equal rights and opportunities for LGBTQ+ individuals in areas such as employment, housing, and education.
Kelley Robinson concluded her statement by expressing the need for a more inclusive society that allows transgender and gender-nonconforming people to thrive and live freely. This summer, the Human Rights Campaign declared a national state of emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans due to the surge in anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, anti-trans rhetoric, and violence against LGBTQ+ individuals.
In 2023 alone, more than 500 bills were introduced by state lawmakers targeting LGBTQ+ education, access to healthcare for transgender youth, and their participation in sports and public facilities.