ATLANTA – The Georgia chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after Serenity Hollis, a Black trans woman, was shot and killed in Albany, Georgia. Local law enforcement authorities have confirmed that they are investigating Hollis’ death as a potential hate crime.
“Our thoughts today are with Serenity, her family, and the broader trans community, which faces a growing, dual threat – the threat of gun violence, enabled by lax gun safety laws and fueled by hate; and the flood of discriminatory, anti-trans bills that have moved through legislatures across the country,” said Courtney Spriggs, a volunteer with the Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We must do more to combat both threats.”
Serenity is at least the 24th reported trans person killed in 2021, although it’s likely there have been more deaths that have gone unreported or victims who have been misgendered. April was the deadliest month so far this year, in which at least seven trans people were killed including six by gun, and May does not seem to be slowing down. The killings come amidst a record-breaking year for anti-transgender legislation. According to the Human Rights Campaign, as of April 12, at least 117 bills have been introduced in at least 33 states that target the trans community. Last year was the deadliest year on record for trans and gender nonconforming people in the U.S., after 36 people were shot and killed.
Some trends from 2017 to 2020 that are likely to continue:
- Guns are the most frequently used weapon in the murder of trans people. 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, 75% of known trans homicide victims between 2017 and 2020 were Black.
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 2020 was the deadliest year on record.