The Oregon chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after Oliver “Ollie” Taylor, a 17-year-old trans teen was shot and killed in Gervais, Oregon. According to court records, on May 12, the suspect shot another individual, Arik Reed, and then kidnapped Taylor before fleeing the scene in a vehicle. Taylor was shot and wounded on May 12, and died of his wounds a week later.
“My heart is with Ollie’s family and friends,” said Peren Tiemann, a member of the Students Demand Action National Advisory Board in Oregon. “As we get closer to the five year mark of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, it’s critical for us to prioritize gun safety and make sure to prevent hate-motivated violence targeted at the LGBTQ community.”
Ollie is at least the 25th 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. May has been a deadly month so far this year, in which at least seven trans people were killed including six by gun. 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 noncomforming 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.