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Texas Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond to Shooting of Marisela Castro, a 39-year-old Transgender Latina, in Houston

August 3, 2022

The Texas 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 Marisela Castro, a 39-year-old transgender Latina, who was shot and killed in Houston, Texas last week.

“On the eve of her 40th birthday, what should have been a joyful milestone, Marisela’s life was tragically and senselessly cut short,” said Michelle Herskowitz, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Instead of celebrating her bright and beautiful life, Marisela’s loved ones are now left grappling with immense heartbreak and grief. Her death is yet another grave reminder of the impact that gun violence has on transgender and gender non-conforming people in our nation. We must keep fighting to disarm hate and urge our lawmakers to pass stronger gun safety legislation.” 

Marisela’s death is at least the 23rd fatal shooting of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2022 in the United States and Puerto Rico. It is likely there have been more deaths that have gone unreported or victims who have been misgendered

2021 was the deadliest year on record for trans and gender non-conforming people in the U.S., and transgender women of color were disproportionately impacted by the violence. Below are trends from 2017 to 2021 that researchers fear will continue in 2022: 

  • There was an 93% increase in incidents of tracked transgender homicides from 2017 to 2021 (from 29 incidents in 2017 to 56 incidents in 2021). 
  • Guns are the most frequently used weapon in the murder of trans people. Nearly three-fourths of trans people killed in America were killed with a gun. This violence is not evenly spread throughout the US. 
  • Black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Hispanic women are victims of homicide at the highest rates. 73% of gun homicides of transgender and gender-nonconforming people were of Black trans women.

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has tracked homicides of transgender and gender non-conforming 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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