Murders of trans people nearly doubled over past 4 years, and Black trans women are most at risk, report finds

The number of trans people who were murdered in the U.S. nearly doubled between 2017 and 2021, according to data released Tuesday by the non-profit Everytown for Gun Safety. Of the total victims, 73% were killed with a gun.

Everytown's Transgender Homicide Tracker found that there was a 93% increase in tracked homicides of trans and gender-nonconforming people in the United States and Puerto Rico over the last four years. In 2021, 56 people were killed, compared to 29 reported deaths in 2017.

Notably, while only 13% of the transgender community is estimated to be Black, according to UCLA School of Law's Williams Institute, Black trans women accounted for nearly three-quarters of the known victims.

"Bias-motivated crimes are a real, frightening problem in the United States, and LGBTQ+ people continue to be targeted because of who they are," the Everytown report said.

Pride Progress flag alongside the Transgender Pride flag with the slogan 'Trans Lives Matter' in Soho on 28th June 2022 in London, United Kingdom.  Mike Kemp via Getty Images

In 2019, the American Medical Association recognized "an epidemic of violence against the transgender community," who are over 2.5 times more likely than cisgender people — those whose gender identity aligns with the sex they were designated at birth — to experience violence, according to the Everytown report. 

The report cited "dangerous gun bills," as well as state legislatures passing a record number of anti-trans bills, as creating "an environment ripe for deadly gun violence fueled by hate." Last year was both the deadliest year for trans people, and the worst year in history for anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

While Everytown clarified that "no single solution can stop gun violence in the United States," it recommended passing gun control laws and establishing a domestic terrorism office within the Department of Justice to curb the climbing rates of violence against trans people.

According to the National Center for Transgender Equality's U.S. trans survey — the largest survey of transgender people to date, which was published in 2015 — 40% of trans youth reported attempting suicide in their lifetime. That's nearly nine times the national average, according to Everytown. And with six out of every ten suicides in the U.S. involving a gun, the "epidemic of firearm suicide could have a disproportionate impact on transgender and adolescent members of the LGBTQ+ community," the Everytown report said.

Orlando Florida Pulse night club tragedy shooting memorial, June 12, 2016. Education Images via Getty Images

The report also highlighted the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting, where a gunman opened fire in the LGBTQ+ club in Orlando, killing 49 people and wounding 53.

"Honoring the memories of the lives cut short at Pulse six years ago—and the many other members of the LGBTQ+ community whose lives have been stolen or forever changed by hate and violence—means taking action to strengthen our nation's gun laws," the Everytown report said. "There's no time to waste."


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