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Pennsylvania Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond to Shooting of Amäriey Lèį (Myara), a Black Transgender Woman and Community Figure, in Pittsburgh

January 4, 2022

The Pennsylvania 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 Amäriey Lèį (Myara), a Black transgender woman in Pittsburgh who was shot and killed on New Year’s Day.

“Myara was an important figure within her community as a mentor and coach for young dancers in Pittsburgh, and her impact will last beyond her own life – a life cut tragically short,” said Andi Snyder, a volunteer with the Pennsylvania chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Her death is another poignant reminder that there is always more that can be done to protect the transgender community from this type of hateful violence. We will continue to fight for an end to gun violence in all its forms, including for Black trans women and all disproportionately impacted communities.”

Myara’s death marks the first violent killing of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2022, just two days after another Black trans woman, Ke’Yahonna Stone, was shot and killed in Indianapolis, Indiana. 2021 was the deadliest year on record for trans and gender nonconforming people in the U.S., with least 52 transgender or gender non-conforming people killed in 2021 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.
2020 was previously the deadliest year on record for trans and gender nonconforming people in the U.S. Some trends from 2017 to 2020 that continued in 2021:

  • 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 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.

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