According to the most recent data released by the largest LGBTQ rights organization in the United States, the community is facing an alarming number of fatal attacks against transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals. The report highlights a disturbing trend of violence, which disproportionately affects young Black trans women, and describes the situation as an “epidemic.”
According to a report by the Human Rights Campaign, a minimum of 33 individuals who identify as transgender or gender-nonconforming have lost their lives in the United States since last November. Out of these fatalities, 26 have been documented this year alone, following a total of 41 in 2019. The organization released its annual report on the occasion of Transgender Day of Remembrance, which was observed on Monday.
In a report, Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson expressed her concern about the widespread violence against transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, labeling it a national embarrassment. She lamented that every life lost due to such violence is a tragedy, blaming a society that undermines and diminishes those who challenge the gender binary.
Since tracking began in 2013, individuals who identify as trans or gender-nonconforming and belong to communities of color have accounted for the highest percentage of fatal violence victims. The report reveals that this year, Black individuals constituted 69% of all victims. Shockingly, 51% of those victims were Black trans women. The second most affected group were Hispanic individuals, who accounted for 21% of all deaths. White individuals made up 9% of the total number of victims.
According to the report, the majority of the victims were under 35 years of age. The data also revealed that the average age of victims in the past year was 28.
Over the course of the past ten years, Human Rights Campaign has identified a staggering 335 cases of transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals who have been killed. The last four years have seen a particularly alarming surge in fatalities, with a total of 171 recorded deaths. Most recently, the year 2021 has already seen a tragic peak with 59 deaths recorded by the rights group in a single year.
According to the report, the numbers provided are most likely lower than the actual figures due to incomplete and unreliable data collection when it comes to violent and fatal crimes against trans and gender-nonconforming individuals. It highlights that there is a significant possibility that the actual statistics could be much higher than what is reported.
Lawmakers were urged to take necessary action to curb violence against the LGBTQ community by passing legislation such as the Equality Act. This act, if made into law, would prevent discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in various fields, including education, employment, and housing. Although the bill was approved in the House vote in 2021, it is yet to be passed in the Senate, causing it to remain stagnant.
Earlier this year, the Human Rights Campaign stated that LGBTQ people are facing a national state of emergency due to the increasing number of anti-LGBTQ bills being introduced across the country. The majority of these bills are aimed at limiting the rights of transgender individuals, which includes restricting their use of bathrooms, access to gender-affirming care, and participation in sports.
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