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Saturday is Trans Day of Remembrance. 2021 is already the deadliest year for gun violence against transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

November 19, 2021

Transgender Day of Remembrance is this Saturday. So far this year, at least 48 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been killed in the United States and Puerto Rico, making 2021 the deadliest year in history— and that’s likely an undercount since many shootings have gone unreported or victims have been misgendered. It’s vital that media and law enforcement refer to people by the names and genders they identify with, both for the comfort of their loved ones and communities, and to understand the scope of this epidemic of violence against transgender people.

2020 was previously the deadliest year on record for trans and gender nonconforming people in the U.S., but 2021 has now surpassed the same number of people killed with two months remaining in this year. Some trends from 2017 to 2020 that are on track to continue 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 in the U.S.

These statistics tell the clear story that gun violence against the transgender community and broader queer community is rampant. And there is so much more to do to prevent these shootings. But to solve a problem, it’s also necessary to understand it with comprehensive research. Researchers need a deeper understanding of the intersection between gun violence and the queer community, including firearm suicide, to find the best solutions.

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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