Report Shines Light On ‘Epidemic’ Of Violence Against Black Transgender People

The Human Rights Campaign released a report on what they call an “epidemic of violence" against Black transgender people.

In honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance, an ambitious LGBTQ rights group released an annual report on what they call an “epidemic of violence,” especially against Black transgender women and transgender people of color in the United States.

The Human Rights Campaign is commemorating the lives and mourning the loss of transgender and gender non-conforming people. Since November 2022, at least 33 transgender and gender non-conforming people were fatally shot or killed by other violent means, the report found. To date, 26 deaths have been officially recorded this year, following a devastating total of 41 recorded deaths last year, according to the report.

“The epidemic of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people is a national embarrassment,” HRC President Kelley Robinson wrote in the report. “Each of these lives taken is a tragedy— the result of a society that demeans and devalues anyone who dares challenge the gender binary.”

In response, HRC declared a State of Emergency for LGBTQ+ people for the first time in its over 40-year history. The move addresses hateful rhetoric and the growing number of anti-LGBTQ bills that aim to place restrictions on the lives of transgender people, including the banning of gender-affirming care.

Furthermore, HRC’s efforts reveal the impact of violent and hateful rhetoric aimed at fatal violence against people of color, who account for the largest group of victims. Since 2013, HRC has been tracking such data.

According to the report, 69% of all victims were Black, compared to 21% of Hispanic people and 9% of white people. Black trans women, who live within intersections of discrimination based on race, being women, and being transgender, particularly, represented 51% of all deaths.

However, HRC noted that “some victims’ deaths may go unreported or misreported, while other victims may not be identified as trans or gender non-conforming.” 

In 2021, the Pew Research Center surveyed Black U.S. adults, finding that 46% of Black adults reported that they were extremely or very concerned about discrimination against LGBTQ people. Saying it is too often that Black transgender and non-conforming people “face multiple forms of stigma, which result in lower access to status, power, and resources.”

The rights group is calling for lawmakers to pass the Equality Act and state non-discrimination protection across employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.

President Biden marked Transgender Day of Remembrance with a statement condemning hate and discrimination. 

“Today, on Transgender Day of Remembrance, we are reminded that there is more to do [to] meet that promise as we grieve the 26 transgender Americans whose lives were taken this year,” Biden said.

“While each one of these deaths is a tragedy – the true toll of those victimized is likely even higher, with the majority of those targeted being women of color.”