The California chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to the death of Cherry Bush, a 48-year-old transgender woman, who was shot and killed in Los Angeles, California in early July.
“Cherry’s life was priceless— and it was cut far too short,” said Rudy Espinoza, a volunteer with the California chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We live in a world where transgender and gender non-conforming people face the threat of violence for just existing and that’s unacceptable. For women like Cherry, we must keep fighting to end the epidemic of hate-fueled gun violence that plagues our nation.”
Cherry’s death is at least the 22nd fatal shooting of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2022 in the United States and Puerto Rico. It is likely there have been more deaths that have gone unreported or victims who have been misgendered.
2021 was the deadliest year on record for trans and gender non-conforming people in the U.S., and transgender women of color were disproportionately impacted by the violence. Below are trends from 2017 to 2021 that researchers fear will continue in 2022:
- There was an 93% increase in incidents of tracked transgender homicides from 2017 to 2021 (from 29 incidents in 2017 to 56 incidents in 2021).
- Guns are the most frequently used weapon in the murder of trans people. Nearly three-fourths of trans people killed in America were killed with a gun. This violence is not evenly spread throughout the US.
- Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Hispanic women are victims of homicide at the highest rates. 73% of gun homicides of transgender and gender-nonconforming people were of Black trans women.
Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has tracked homicides of transgender and gender non-conforming 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 non-conforming homicide victims in the United States.