Jun 12, 2021 - Politics & Policy

2021 set to become deadliest year on record for trans Americans

Data: Human Rights Campaign; Chart: Will Chase/Axios
Data: Human Rights Campaign; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

28 transgender and gender non-conforming people — nearly all Black and Latina women — have been killed this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which has tracked such deaths since 2013.

Why it matters: At this time last year, there were only 13 known killings of trans people, per the HRC. If this current pace continues, 2021 will be on track to significantly beat last year's all-time record.

  • More trans people have been killed so far this year than in all of 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019.

What they're saying: LGBTQ advocates say the record number of bills targeting trans children this year has encouraged more widespread transphobia and violence across the country, the 19th reports.

The big picture: While these cases often involve bias against trans people, HRC argues that chronic unemployment, poverty and homelessness caused by discrimination also fuel the violence. Studies have also shown that trans adults attempt suicide more often than cisgender adults.

  • The recorded number of killings in the U.S. is well below the rate in Latin America, which by some counts has the highest concentration of trans murders in the world, reports Transgender Europe (TGEU).
  • But the U.S. has a higher rate of murdered trans persons reported per million inhabitants than in Australia, Canada, South Africa, France and India, per TGEU.

What to watch: Overall homicides have been trending up in many cities across the U.S. after economic hardship and pandemic-induced fear propelled urban homicide rates to a record level in 2020.

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