The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) reported Wednesday that at least 32 transgender and gender nonconforming people have been killed since the beginning of the year, bringing the total number of violent deaths recorded by the group over the last decade to more than 300.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 302 transgender people have been killed in the United States since 2013, when the FBI began reporting hate crimes motivated by anti-transgender bias.
Over the last decade, more than 85 percent of victims tracked by the group were people of color, with roughly 69 percent being Black and 15 percent being Latino. More than three-quarters, or 77%, were under the age of 35.
According to the HRC report, at least two-thirds of violent deaths of transgender people since 2013 involved a firearm. Everytown for Gun Safety recently discovered that a firearm was used in 73 percent of transgender homicides since 2017.
According to the same report, the number of transgender people killed in the last four years has nearly doubled.
The release of the HRC report on Wednesday coincides with Transgender Awareness Week, which is observed each year beginning Nov. 13 and culminating in Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20, which honors victims of fatal violence.
“The Transgender Day of Remembrance is a solemn tradition, a time when transgender and non-binary people can come together to mourn those who have died and to hope for a better future,” Tori Cooper, director of community engagement at the Human Rights Campaign’s Transgender Justice Initiative, said on Wednesday.
“Ten years and over 300 deaths that we are aware of is a grim milestone,” Cooper said. “I call on transgender people everywhere and our allies to respond to this dark moment by advocating for our lived and legal equality — and, most importantly, our lives — to whomever will listen.” We will take action to honor their lives and memories.”
Wednesday’s report also comes at the end of a year in which state lawmakers introduced at least 145 bills aimed at restricting transgender youth’s rights. According to HRC, at least 17 have become law in 13 states.
Attacks on the transgender community have also increased this year.
Some conservatives argue that assisting transgender youth in receiving gender-affirming care, such as puberty blockers and hormones, amounts to abuse.
Following an anonymous bomb threat, Boston Children’s Hospital, which houses the nation’s first pediatric and adolescent transgender health program, was placed on lockdown in September. A woman from Massachusetts was arrested in connection with the threat, which was later determined to be a hoax by investigators.
Other hospitals across the country have recently faced similar threats, with staff, patients, and their families fearing for their safety as a result of harassment emails, phone calls, and demonstrations.
“This year saw unprecedented amounts of negative rhetoric and stigma directed at transgender and non-binary people, as well as their families, loved ones, and even their medical providers by anti-equality political leaders and public figures,” Shoshana Goldberg, the HRC Foundation’s director of public education and research, said on Wednesday. “That cannot be separated from the horrifying, ongoing violence against transgender people.”
According to the report, at least 15 transgender homicides have occurred while victims were in police custody or incarcerated in jails, prisons, or ICE detention centers over the last decade, including two in 2022.
According to the HRC report, the killer in 40% of cases remains unknown or at large, and of those with a known killer, at least 65 percent of victims were killed by someone they knew, including nearly a fifth killed by an intimate partner and 10% killed by a friend or family member.
More than one-third, or 36%, were killed by a friend.
According to HRC researchers, the report released on Wednesday likely undercounts the deadly violence directed at transgender people, who may not be properly identified as transgender or gender nonconforming by police, the media, or on official records.
According to the report released on Wednesday, at least 70% of victims this year were misgendered by police or the media.
A similar investigation conducted last month by epidemiologists in Oregon discovered that more than half of transgender people who died in the state between 2011 and 2021 were misgendered on their death certificates.