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Wisconsin Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond to Shooting of Cashay B. Henderson, a 31-year-old Black Transgender Woman, in Milwaukee

March 3, 2023

The Wisconsin 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 Cashay B. Henderson, a 31-year-old Black transgender woman, who was shot and killed in Milwaukee over the weekend. 

“Our hearts go out to Cashay’s family and loved ones right now, as a beautiful soul was taken from them far too soon,” said Liz Miller, a volunteer with the Wisconsin chapter of Moms Demand Action. “As we honor Cashay’s life, her death is a poignant reminder of the devastating impact of our nation’s gun violence crisis on Black transgender women and LGBTQ+ communities. It is long past time for legislators to pass stronger gun laws to save lives — we need change and we need it now.”

This tragedy wasn’t isolated — Cashay’s death is at least the 7th fatal shooting of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2023 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. This tragic trend isn’t happening in a vacuum. It comes as some states across the country have been advancing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation while simultaneously dismantling their gun safety laws. This deadly intersection creates a culture in which acts of gun violence towards transgender and gender non-conforming individuals become commonplace. 

2021 was the deadliest year on record for trans and gender nonconforming people in the U.S, and transgender women of color were disproportionately impacted by the violence. Below are trends from 2017 to 2022 that researchers fear will continue in 2023: 

  • Between 2017 and 2022, there were 222 homicides of transgender or gender non-conforming people.  
  • 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. 
  • From 2017 to 2022, the majority of gun homicides of transgender and gender nonconforming people (67%) 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 nonconforming homicide victims in the United States.

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