Trans Americans Face ‘Epidemic of Violence,’ Human Rights Campaign Says

A new report from human rights campaign say more than 300 Transgender and gender nonconforming individuals have been killed in the United States over the past decade during what the organization calls a “pandemic of violence.”

These numbers come on the eve of Transgender Remembrance Daya year community-organized event where transgender people’s names are lost to violence over the past year are read aloud to draw attention to the violence facing the community.

Meanwhile, the HRC says that during this time the FBI has only registered 11 homicides or negligent homicides against transgender people, suggesting a lack of data at the federal level has resulted in a serious understatement of the data. deadly violence against transgender people. Transgender community.

Shoshana Goldberg, Director of Public Education & Research at the Human Rights Campaign told the Daily Beast: “Our biggest goal is to remember these people, to make sure that their names and stories are up. not lost in the war.

“It’s an epidemic of people who actually lose their lives, and they have friends, family members and loved ones mourning them. We want to make sure they and their stories are told.”

This year, the HRC tracked at least 32 transgender and gender nonconforming deaths. This is down from last year’s total, in which at least 57 transgender and gender-nonconforming people were brutally murdered.

One year is unlikely to provide an overview of the overall pandemic violence faced by transgender people, and it is likely that more research will be needed to find a more accurate figure to represent. violence faced this year. It’s a sad fact that police and many news organizations routinely put dead names—or share a transgender person’s own name instead of the name they choose—in their coverage.

This makes tracking deaths more difficult for researchers without a central database of information. The HRC hopes that by releasing the names of victims each year it shows what kind of people they are living full lives and forces media organizations and the police to put an end to these practices. Of the more than 300 victims, 70% of them were intentionally transgendered by police or news reports after they died.

Doing this means “we can maintain pressure to implement programs and policies to prevent this from happening,” Goldberg added.

There are not enough government policies to support Black people in general or transgender people in general

Wynston Sanders

The decades-long dataset reveals some very clear patterns of victimization of lethal violence against the transgender and gender nonconforming communities.

According to data compiled by the HRC, more than four-fifths of the victims in the past year were people of color, 69 percent were Black, and 15 percent were Latino.

Wynston Sanders, Southern Equality Fund Organizer at the Campaign for Southern Equality, says these statistics show there is a component that “reflects internal racism, homophobia, and racism.” internalizing transphobia” is why the statistics paint such a bleak picture for this community.

For many black Americans, in general, systemic violence is normal, and “there are not enough government policies to support Black people in general or transgender people in general,” he added. Throw in a hostile environment for transgender people in the United States, and the problem only gets worse.

Another area where resources are lacking is addressing the emotional abuse and violence that the transgender community regularly faces.

Overall, these gaps have been filled by groups that seek to mutually support people of color in the transgender community with groups like House of Tulip in New Orleans, My Sistah’s House in Memphis, and Charlotte Uprising. in NC. Sanders said that policymakers could easily channel funds to already-existing organizations to ultimately “lower barriers to equity for transgender people of color.”

Nearly 80% of the victims were under the age of 35 and more than two-thirds of the victims were killed with a gun. In addition, intimate partner violence accounted for nearly 20% of victims and an additional 9.7% were killed by family members.

Why don’t we look at gun safety and gun reform? Gun reform is definitely a piercing and POC problem

Wynston Sanders

“Consider some of the most obvious features of the violence taking place—two-thirds of these deaths involve guns. Why don’t we look at gun safety and gun reform? Gun reform is definitely a transgender and POC issue,” Sanders said.

“Policymakers can also better fund, support, and enhance some of the amazing organizations out there that are focusing specifically on transgender people of color. In the absence of institutional help, we rely on each other to survive.”

For transgender people, existing laws on the books make navigating intimate situations difficult. In 35 states, the “transgender panic defense”—or the ability to state in court that finding out a victim’s gender identity is misleading and therefore the use of violence against it’s legal—it’s legal. According to the project of raising the movementthat means nearly 60 percent of Americans live in a state where this defense is valid in court and can be used to influence a jury.

Not only have these laws created an environment where the transgender community is at risk of violence. HRC says 250 anti-LGBTQ laws have been introduced by 2022, of which 24 have already been passed into law.

These laws provide for legal discrimination against LGBTQ Americans, and many have focused on undermining gender identity protections as a protected class. This includes the rise of “bathroom bills” that prevent transgender students from using bathrooms that are consistent with their gender identity, sex-affirmation bills that criminalize medical care for young people. transgender youth and bills that prevent transgender children from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity.

When it comes to the lack of federal housing protections and job insecurity that put transgender people in dangerous situations, Goldberg said “the risk of fatal violence is increasing.” .

Protections such as the provisions of the Violence Against Women Act and the Bostock v. Clayton County has given at-risk communities some mitigation measures against the ongoing outbreak, but she added more can be done. The HRC is continuing to push Congress to pass the Equality Act, while promoting other protections against discrimination against gender identity.

This could include making it easier for transgender people to change their legal documents to reflect their chosen name and gender to prevent authorities from mistaking them for their gender at death. De-criminalization of prostitution will greatly benefit the vulnerable members of the community involved in this work.

Everyone needs to ‘synergize’ and help solve this problem and prevent it from happening again.

Shoshana Goldberg

Forcing federal agencies to aggressively track hate crimes against the transgender community and violent deaths against transgender people would go a long way to making an accurate assessment, Goldberg added. scale of this violence and call attention to the communities most affected. Policymakers therefore need a comprehensive response for the benefit of the community and for those who have lost their lives unrecognized.

“Policy members need to change [solutions] from what we can do as individuals in our communities to figuring out the ways we want to fight hate and injustice in our communities,” Goldberg said. “Everyone needs to be ‘all on board’ and help solve this problem and prevent it from happening again.”

The 32 known transgender and non-binary people killed so far in 2022 are: Amariey Lej, Duval Princess, Cypress Ramos, Naomie Skinner, Matthew Angelo Spampinato, Paloma Vazquez, Tatiana Labelle, Kathryn “Katie” Newhouse, Kenyatta “Kesha” Webster, Miia Love Parker, Ariyanna Mitchell, Fern Feather, Ray Muscat, Nedra Sequence Morris, Chanelika Y’Ella Dior Hemingway, Sasha Mason, Brazil Johnson, Shawmaynè Giselle Marie, Kitty Monroe, Martasia Richmond, Keshia Chanel Geter, Cherry Bush, Marisela Castro, Hayden Davis, Kandii Redd, Aaron Lynch, Maddie Hofmann, Dede Ricks, Mya Allen, Acey Morrison, Semaj Billingslea, and Tiffany Banks.

HRC also compiles a page on “Supplement related to deaths of transgender and gender nonconforming people,” with more information on violence against the transgender community.


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