The country’s largest LGBTQ rights group released its latest data on fatal attacks against transgender and gender non-conforming people, describing an “epidemic of violence” targeting the community, especially young Black trans women.
The Human Rights Campaign found that at least 33 transgender and gender non-conforming people have been murdered in the United States since November of last year. Of those deaths, 26 have been recorded so far this year, after a total of 41 deaths recorded last year. The annual report was released on Monday to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance.
“The epidemic of violence against transgender and gender nonconforming people is a national shame,” Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson wrote in the report. “Each of these lives taken is a tragedy, the result of a society that degrades and devalues anyone who dares to challenge the gender binary.”
People of color have made up the largest proportion of trans and gender nonconforming victims of fatal violence since the group began tracking such data in 2013. This year, 69% of all victims were black and 51% were women black trans, according to the report. Hispanics were the second largest group of victims, accounting for 21% of all deaths. Whites accounted for 9% of the deaths.
The data also showed that the majority of victims were under 35 years old. Last year, the average age of victims was 28, according to the report.
The Human Rights Campaign has identified at least 335 transgender and gender non-conforming people murdered in the last decade. The last four years have been especially fatal for the community, with 171 deaths recorded. In 2021, the number of deaths recorded by the human rights group in a single year reached a high of 59.
The report emphasized that its numbers are likely underestimates, because “data collection is often incomplete or unreliable when it comes to violent and fatal crimes against trans and gender nonconforming people.”
It also included a call for lawmakers to take action to address violence toward LGBTQ people by passing laws such as the Equality Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in numerous areas, including employment , housing and education. The bill passed a House vote in 2021 but has seen no movement in the Senate.
Human Rights Campaign declared national state of emergency for LGBTQ people earlier this year in response to the growing number of anti-LGBTQ bills introduced across the country. Most of the bills target transgender people, according to the human rights group, and seek to limit their use of bathrooms, their access to gender-affirming care and their participation in sports.
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