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Maryland Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond to Shooting of Tasiyah Woodland, a 18-year-old Black Transgender Woman, in Mechanicsville

April 12, 2023

The Maryland 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 Tasiyah Woodland, an 18-year-old Black transgender woman, who was shot and killed in Mechanicsville, Maryland last month. 

“At only 18 years old, senseless gun violence has robbed Tasiyah of a joyous and bright future, and our hearts go out to her loved ones as they mourn this beautiful life that was cut short,” said ​​Nicole Buzzetto-Hollywood, a volunteer with the Maryland chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Right now, Black transgender women across the nation are facing the threat of violence for simply existing. For women like Tasiyah, we must continue fighting to disarm hate and urging action on gun safety across all levels of government.” 

This tragedy wasn’t isolated — Tasiyah’s death is at least the 8th fatal shooting of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2023 in the United States and Puerto Rico, and it’s likely there have been more deaths that have gone unreported or victims who have been misgendered. This tragic trend isn’t happening in a vacuum. It comes as some states across the country have been advancing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation while simultaneously dismantling their gun safety laws. This deadly intersection creates a culture in which acts of gun violence towards trangender and gender non-conforming individuals become commonplace. 

2021 was the deadliest year on record for trans and gender nonconforming people in the U.S, and Black transgender women were disproportionately impacted by the violence. Below are trends from 2017 to 2022 that researchers fear will continue in 2023: 

  • Between 2017 and 2022, there were 222 homicides of transgender or gender non-conforming people.  
  • 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. 
  • From 2017 to 2022, the majority of gun homicides of transgender and gender nonconforming people (67%) 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 nonconforming homicide victims in the United States. 

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