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A Deadly Year: Ahead of Trans Day of Remembrance, Advocates Call for Action to Prevent Gun Violence Against Trans Community

November 19, 2020

At Least 29 Trans People Have Been Killed This Year, Compared to 25 Killings in all of 2019, 26 in 2018, and 29 in 2017

NEW YORK — Today, Delaware state Senator-elect Sarah McBride joined Sarah Burd-Sharps, Everytown’s director of research, and Destini Philpot, a volunteer with Baltimore Students Demand Action to discuss trends in fatal violence against the trans and gender non-conforming community, ahead of Transgender Day of Remembrance. A recording of the call can be found here.

2020 is on track to have the highest number of killings of trans people in the U.S. in years, according to analysis by Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, which has tracked homicides of transgender and gender non-comforming people in the U.S since 2017.
Some of the trends discussed include:

  • Guns are the most frequently used weapon in the murder of trans people, and three-fourths of trans people killed in America were killed with a gun.
  • Black trans women account for the majority of homicide victims in the trans community. To put this into perspective, while Black people make up 16% of the trans population, 76% of known trans homicide victims over this period were Black. 
  • Trans homicides are concentrated in the American south. The rate of trans homicides in the South is five times higher than in the West. Texas (13), Florida (12) and Louisiana (10) have suffered the highest number of trans homicides by far.

“There is no denying the connection between easy access to guns and the violence against trans people,” said Delware State Senator-elect Sarah McBride. “It is on all of us, as Americans, to keep the most marginalized people in our communities safe. And it is on every American to work towards solutions so that we are all free to live without fear of being persecuted or attacked for our identities.”

“Guns don’t cause bigotry, but guns make that hate more deadly,” said Sarah Burd-Sharps, Director of Everytown Research. “These concerning trends are more than numbers — they are lives, families, friends and communities forever impacted by this violence. It’s clear that ending gun violence must include ending anti-trans violence.”

“When we start to shine a light on communities often marginalized, we also expose the hate that continues to threaten the safety of our trans peers,” said Destini Philpot, a volunteer with Baltimore Students Demand Action. “The violence trans and gender nonconfirming people face is only getting worse. We need solutions and we need them now.”

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has tracked homicides of transgender and gender non-comforming people in the U.S since 2017. In addition to breaking down gun violence to the state- and county-level, the platform includes a database of known trans or gender nonconforming homicide victims in the United States. As the numbers show, violence against the trans community is inherently linked to guns and this year is on track to be the deadliest year on record.

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