GREENVILLE, S.C. – The South Carolina chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statements after 28-year-old Black transgender woman Marquiisha Lawrence was shot and killed in her home in Greenville, South Carolina on November 4.
“With her whole life ahead of her, Marquiisha was just starting to make her mark on the world,” said Jackie Shelley, a volunteer leader with the South Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action. “As we’ve tragically seen far too often, hate paired with easy access to guns is deadly, especially for the transgender community. We must continue fighting the worsening epidemic of hate-fueled gun violence.”
Marquiisha is at least the 45th transgender or gender non-conforming person to be killed in 2021 in the United States and Puerto Rico just a week after Rikkey Outumoro, a 39-year old trans woman was shot and killed in Centralia, Washington, 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., 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.
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.