The North Carolina 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 Sasha Mason, a 45-year-old trans Latina, who was shot and killed in Zebulon, North Carolina last month.
“My heart goes out to Sasha’s family and friends during this immensely difficult time,” said Tony Cope, a volunteer with the North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action. “As we honor Sasha’s life, remembering her as the sweet, kind and generous person she was, her death is a poignant reminder of our country’s gun violence epidemic and its disproportionate effects on transgender and gender non-conforming people.”
Sasha’s death is at least the 16th fatal shooting of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2022 in the United States and Puerto Rico. It’s likely there have been more deaths that have gone unreported or victims who have been misgendered.
2021 was the deadliest year on record for trans and gender nonconforming people in the U.S, and transgender women of color were disproportionately impacted by the violence. Below are trends from 2017 to 2021 that researchers fear will continue in 2022:
- There was an 93% increase in incidents of tracked transgender homicides from 2017 to 2021 (from 29 incidents in 2017 to 56 incidents in 2021).
- 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—56% of homicides of transgender and gender-conforming people occurred in the South.
- Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Hispanic women are victims of homicide at the highest rates. 8.4% of gun homicides of transgender and gender-nonconforming people were Latina.
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.