Jan 2, 2020

LGBTQ rights group identifies first violent death of a transgender person in 2020

In this image, a person with red hair carries a transgender pride flag around their neck like a cape

Activists rally in support of transgender people at New York City Hall in 2018. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Dustin Parker, a 25-year-old transgender man fatally shot at work in McAlester, Oklahoma on New Year's Day, is believed to be the first transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2020 to be violently killed, according to the advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.

The big picture: Transgender people, as part of the LGBTQ+ community, have faced multiple legal challenges from the Trump administration to weaken protections against workplace and health care discrimination.

Background: The American Medical Association called 2019's surge of transgender murders an "epidemic" last September. The HRC found that at least 25 transgender and gender non-conforming people were fatally shot or violently killed in 2019.

  • At least 22 transgender people were killed in the U.S. in 2018, per the HRC, and at least 25 in 2017. At least 21 were killed in 2016 and 2015.

What they're saying:

“Dustin was a steadfast friend, an amazing husband and father and generous to a fault. He loved fiercely, worked tirelessly and took on life with so much hope and enthusiasm that his presence brightened all of our lives.”
— Dustin Parker’s employer, Rover Taxi, in a statement, per HRC

Go deeper: Trump administration argues civil rights law doesn't cover LGBTQ workers

Go deeper