NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety, and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, today released statements to mark the beginning of Pride Month and recognize the disproportionate impact of recent gun violence toward the LGBTQIA community. The month begins shortly after the House of Representatives passed H.R.49, legislation to establish the National Pulse Memorial.
Fifty-two years after Black trans women and trans Latinas led an uprising against police discrimination and violence at the Stonewall Inn, the LGBTQIA community — and especially trans people of color — are still the targets of hate-fueled violence, which often involves a gun. 2020 was the deadliest year on record for transgender people, and so far in 2021, Everytown has tracked more violent deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming people than ever by this point in the year. Guns are the most frequently used weapon in the murder of trans people. Black trans women account for the majority of homicide victims in the trans community. While Black people make up 16% of the trans population, 76% of known trans homicide victims over the studied period were Black.
“The LGBTQIA community has fought like hell for the right to live and love in peace, and that right is under attack from people with hate in their hearts and guns in their hands,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We urge lawmakers to honor Pride month with action, and pass more laws to keep firearms away from people with histories of violence and hatred.”
“Gun violence continues to devastate the LGBTQIA community, especially for Black transgender women,” said Sara Grossman, a member of the Everytown Survivor Network whose friend, Drew Leinonen, was killed in the Orlando Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in 2016. “As we inch closer to the five year mark of the shooting at Pulse nightclub, it’s important to never forget the 49 people who were shot and killed, and the thousands of others who were affected by this tragedy. As survivors, we carry forward their legacy. As Pride month begins, I’m more committed than ever to fight for change.”
“Queer people are no strangers to social movements,” said Peren Tiemann, a member of the Students Demand Action National Advisory Board in Oregon. “We have been fighting for our lives since the beginning of time, and the gun violence prevention movement is no different. We can’t end gun violence without acknowledging the disproportionate impact of this public health crisis on our community — especially Black trans women. This Pride month we are honoring LGBTQIA survivors with action.”
June 12 marks five years since the tragic shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. This year, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund will join QLatinx, the LGBT+ Center Orlando, OnePulse Foundation, Equality Florida, Equality Federation Institute, and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation to host a national panel discussion featuring a special message from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and panel appearances from Representative Stephanie Murphy (D-07), Angela Zabala-Ferrell, head of Movement Building for Everytown, Brandon Wolf, a gun violence survivor, Alphonso David, president of Human Rights Campaign, and more. The panel discussion will conclude with a national moment of silence. The panel will be livestreamed on each of the group’s social media platforms.
Last year, Everytown Support Fund, Human Rights Campaign, Giffords Law Center, and Equality Florida released a report noting over 10,000 hate crimes in the U.S. involve a firearm each year, which equates to more than 28 each day.
This June, Everytown is honoring LGBTQIA survivors and recognizing the importance of queer leadership, advocacy, and resilience in the gun violence prevention movement — and is calling on policymakers at every level to prioritize ending our nation’s gun violence epidemic and taking action on hate motivated violence.