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New Year Already Marked by Hate-Fueled Gun Violence Against the Trans Community, Underscoring Urgent Need for Action on Gun Safety

January 27, 2023

Just 26 days into the new year, and it’s already proven to be a deadly one for transgender and gender non-conforming people across the country. On Monday evening, Unique Banks, a 21-year-old transgender Latina, was shot and killed in her South Shore apartment in Chicago, IL. Banks’ mother, Alexsandra Olmo, was also shot and killed in the attack, and three others were shot and badly wounded. And just last Wednesday, Tortuguita, a 26-year-old queer and non-binary person, was shot and killed by police while protesting deforestation in Atlanta, GA. These tragedies permanently alter communities, leaving both visible and invisible scars on survivors and loved ones.

This is a devastating reality we know all too well. 2022 was a deadly year for trans and gender non-conforming people in the U.S., and Latina and Black transgender women were disproportionately impacted by the violence. The year ended with several tragic shootings: on December 17, Caelee Love-Light, a 27-year-old transgender Latina, was shot and killed in Phoenix, AZ; on December 9, Destiny Howard, a 23-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot and killed in Macon, GA; on Thanksgiving day, Diamond Jackson, a 27-years-old Black woman, was shot and killed in Philadelphia, PA; and only four days earlier, Kelly Loving, a 40-year-old transgender woman, and Daniel Aston, a 28-year-old transgender man, were shot and killed in a mass shooting at LGBTQ+ Club Q in Colorado Springs, CO. 

According to Everytown’s recent report on LGBTQ+ bias and guns, gun violence, racism, and violence against the trans and gender non-conforming communities are closely intertwined. Guns are the most frequently used weapon in the murder of trans people. Nearly three-fourths of trans people killed in America from 2017 to 2021 were killed with a gun.

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, EveryStat includes a database of known trans or gender non-conforming homicide victims in the United States.

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