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Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Statement on Shooting of Skylar Heath, a Trans Woman in Miami

December 3, 2020

The Florida chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both a part of Everytown for Gun Safety grassroots networks, released the following statement on the death of Skylar Heath, a Black trans woman who was shot and killed in Miami in early November in what’s become the deadliest year for trans people in recent history. News of Skylar’s shooting was delayed, as she was previously deadnamed in initial reports.

“Trans people must be protected, not persecuted for their identities,” said Gaby Padrón Loewenstein, a volunteer with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our hearts are with Skylar’s friends and family during this difficult time. We will continue to fight for stronger gun laws until Florida’s most marginalized communities are safe.”

Skylar Heath is at least the 33 trans person killed this in 2020, marking the deadliest year for trans people in America since Everytown began tracking trans shootings in 2017. Some trends 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 since 2017 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 (14), Florida (14) and Louisiana (10) have suffered the highest number of trans homicides by far.

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 the deadliest year on record.

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