Murders of US transgenders likely to reach record high
LONDON (UK) – With the murder of two Black trans women last week, the number of violent deaths of transgenders in the United States is expected to reach a record high this year, say activists who blame a rise in anti-trans rhetoric.
According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which is the largest LGBT+ advocacy group in the US, there have been 25 killings in the country this year, and is likely to exceed the earlier record of 29 murders in 2017.
“As a Black trans woman, I feel absolutely horrified, I feel scared, I feel almost targeted – and I use that word specifically,” said Tori Cooper, a director of HRC’s transgender justice programme.
Queasha D Hardy was gunned down on Monday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, while Dior H Ova, also known as Tiffany Harris, was killed in New York City on Sunday, HRC said.
Violence against Black trans women, who are discriminated against for their race and gender, became the focus of LGBT+ Pride marches in the US and UK last month under the banner of Black Trans Lives Matter.
According to studies by the Williams Institute at ULCA School of Law in the US, there are no official figures to keep tabs on the number of trans people, who make up 0.6% of the population, killed.
The high rates of joblessness, poverty and homelessness push the Black trans Americans to risky activities, said activists. This comes amid President Trump seeking to revoke their legal rights.
“Public figures … who put out violence-diminishing, devaluing rhetoric about trans people, particularly trans women, that just stokes the confusion, the uncertainty around gender in our society,” said Raquel Willis, an advocate and writer.
“And that in turns stokes the violence that happens to us.”
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field