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Tennessee Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond to Shooting of Black Transgender Woman in Memphis

November 29, 2021

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Tennessee chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after Danyale Thompson, a 35-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee. 

“Danyale had so much left to dream and accomplish, but her life, like those of so many other transgender people, was cut short by gun violence. Our hearts are with her loved ones as they enter the holiday season without her,” said Leeann Hewlett, a volunteer with the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Lax gun laws, compounded with hate, have once again proven a deadly combination for members of the trans community. We must do more to end this epidemic of violence.”

Danyale is at least the 49th transgender or gender non-conforming person to be killed in 2021 in the United States and Puerto Rico, although it’s likely there have been more deaths that have gone unreported or victims who have been misgendered. In coverage surrounding Danyale’s death, local media originally misgendered her.

2020 was previously the deadliest year on record for trans and gender non-conforming people in the U.S., but 2021 has now surpassed that number with just over a month still 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 only 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 non-conforming homicide victims in the United States.

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