2021 is the deadliest year for transgender and gender-nonconforming people in the US on record. At least 50 transgender and gender nonconforming people was killed alone this year, every report by LGBTQ advocacy organization Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the highest death toll since the organization began recording fatal violence in 2013.
The report makes it clear that the full death toll is still likely much higher; The deaths of transgender and gender-nonconforming people are often underreported, and the victims themselves are often mistranslated. (At least 24 of those listed in the original HRC report were misreported by the media or police.)
Tori Cooper, the community engagement director of the transgender justice initiative at the HRC Foundation, said the HRC has not only seen an increase in fatal violence, but also an “increase in violent acts.” .
HRC has recorded fatal incidents in at least 19 states and Puerto Rico this year; Cooper said HRC noticed an increase in deadly violence throughout the South, especially in Texas, Florida, and Georgia. (Texas and Florida are two of three states — along with Pennsylvania — that have recorded at least five deaths.)
Since 2013, HRC has recorded 256 fatal incidents of violence against transgender and gender-incongruent people. More than three-quarters of the victims during that period were 35 years old or younger, and one-tenth of the victims were under 21 years old. And Black transgender women have been victims of fatal violence this year as well as in previous years – in the years since HRC held the record, at least 84% of those killed were people of color, 85% are transgender women and 66% are transgender black women.
There could be a number of factors contributing to the increase in violence, Cooper said. Systematic racism and transphobia, she explains, exacerbate poverty and directly affect the lives of many transgender individuals. There has also been an uptick in combating misinformation in the media and from conservative lawmakers. This year, at least 130 bills have been introduced into state legislatures targeting transgender people, including the ability for transgender children to use the bathroom, play sports or receive medical care. economic. A record 25 anti-LGBTQ bills were finally enacted into law, including 13 anti-transgender laws in at least eight states, according to the number of HRCs.
“Words make sense,” said Coopers, when asked about potential triggers for violence. “Words become thoughts and thoughts become actions.”
Meanwhile, legislation at the federal level that Cooper says is needed to better protect transgender people, meanwhile, is currently stalled. Cooper argues that Congress must pass the Equality Act, would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodation, education, federally funded programs, etc. She added that there is a need to exercise focuses on addressing the hate crime threat and enforces more of the hate crime laws already in place.
“We need to make sure that those who commit hate crimes are prosecuted,” she continued. “It means they understand that they can’t cause pain to the community simply because they’re different.”
https://time.com/6131444/2021-anti-trans-violence/ Anti-Violence and Rhetoric Hits Records Across America in 2021