Deadliest Year for Transgender People Recorded in US

Talon Smith, Editor-in-Chief

At least 33 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been killed in the United States so far in 2020, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has been keeping track of the number of transgender people killed since 2013 and has never had such a high number, especially at this point in the year.

The number of murders could actually be higher, according to the HRC, because, “too often these stories go unreported — or misreported.”

A majority of the victims were Black and Lantia transgender women.

“Transgender people – and particularly Black and Latina transgender women – are marginalized, stigmatized and criminalized in our country,” said Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, deputy executive director for the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), “They face violence every day, and they fear turning to the police for help.”

NCTE’s United States Transgender Survery concluded that one in four transgender people are assaulted due to being transgender. 47% of all Black respondents to the survey reported being denied equal treatment, verbally harassed, and/or physically attacked in the previous year because of being transgender.

Furthermore, 57% of all respondents indicated that they were afraid to go to the police when they needed help. 58% of respondents that interacted with law enforcement reported experiences of harassment, abuse or other mistreatment. 60% experienced physical assault while 64% experienced sexual assault.

The American Medical Association (AMA) declared the ongoing violence against transgender women of color an epidemic in 2019.

AMA provided the reasoning that “fatal anti-transgender violence” is on the rise in the United States.

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said in a statement, “This epidemic of violence, which is particularly impacting transgender women of color, must and can be stopped.”

Beverly Tillery, the executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, said, according to the New York Times, that incidents of hate violence have increased since the 2016 election, when Donald Trump became President of the United States.

The Trump administration has attacked transgender rights several times. The NCTE lists these attacks. Some of the more recent actions include rolling back protections from discrimination by homeless shelters, in a healthcare setting, and by insurance companies.

“There is an increased climate of hate that is, in some cases, being allowed to grow,” Tillery said.

During presidential candidate Joe Biden’s town hall on Thursday the 19th, the parent of a transgender child asked Biden about the Trump Administration’s anti-transgender policies.

Biden responded pledging to change the law and eliminate Trump’s anti-transgender executive orders.

Also brought into focus this year was the police brutality which Black Americans face, particularly by the death of Minneapolis citizen George Floyd. As black lives matter content spread on the internet, so did the phrase, “Black Trans Lives Matter.”