Prior to the Transgender Day of Remembrance on Thursday, the Human Rights Campaign revealed in its annual report that at least 32 transgender and gender nonconforming people have died in the United States in 2022.
81% of known victims this year who identified as transgender were individuals of color, with 59% being Black. As in previous years, trans women are disproportionately represented and account for 81% of all recorded deaths at the time of publication.
Since recording such killings began in 2013 — the same year the FBI started keeping track of hate crimes against transgender people — the Human Rights Campaign has recorded at least 302 violent deaths of transgender and gender nonconforming people.
According to the research, the victims have “overwhelmingly” been Black, under 35, and shot dead.
63% of all victims since 2013 have been black transgender women, including Shawmaynè Giselle Marie, a 27-year-old nursing aide who was assassinated in Gulfport, Mississippi, in June.
This week is Transgender Awareness Week, which culminates with Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday. This global event honors those who have died as a result of anti-transgender violence and raises awareness of the dangers trans people face.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, the actual number of fatalities is likely underestimated because transgender people’s deaths sometimes go undetected or the victims are incorrectly identified in press or police reports. The data excludes suicide deaths, which have also been shown to be much more common in LGBTQ people than in the general population.
Inmates in jails, prisons, or ICE detention facilities have killed 15 trans people since 2013, including two this year, the research revealed.
Other victims were killed by a person they knew. Since 2013, nearly one-fifth of those whose killer is known were killed by an intimate partner.
One of them is Ray Muscat, 26, who was shot and killed in May in Michigan by his girlfriend.
There have been 47 fewer recorded deaths than when the report from last year was published. By the end of the year, the Human Rights Campaign had tallied 57 fatal acts of violence against trans and gender non-conforming people, the greatest number ever.
This year’s report, according to Shoshana Goldberg, public education and research director for the HRC Foundation, comes during the largest wave of anti-trans legislation at the state level ever, which has been mostly fueled by misinformation and stigma, she added.
Some proposals seek to restrict the discussion of LGBTQ issues in schools, gender-affirming medical care, and the participation of transgender kids on sports teams and in the use of toilets consistent with their gender identification.
Such legislation, according to her, encourages anti-LGBTQ sentiment by portraying queer and transgender individuals as a danger to kids and communities.
According to the research, 25 anti-LGBTQ laws have been passed by states so far this year, 17 of which target transgender persons. The Human Rights Campaign has never seen as many anti-transgender measures proposed in a state legislative session as there are currently in 34 states, totaling over 145.
Despite the fact that the legislation do not explicitly call for violence against LGBTQ people, according to Goldberg, they impose a culture of prejudice that is frequently made worse by racism and sexism and increases the likelihood of lethal violence.
According to Goldberg, “this year saw unprecedented levels of harsh speech and stigma directed at transgender and nonbinary persons, as well as their families, loved ones, and even their medical practitioners.” That is inextricably linked to the horrifying, continuous violence against transgender individuals, according to the speaker.
According to the Williams Institute, a think tank at the University of California, Los Angeles devoted to LGBTQ issues, 1.6 million Americans aged 13 and older identify as transgender.