A new report from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation shows at least 33 transgender and gender-nonconforming people have been killed in the past year.
The report was released Nov. 20, which is International Transgender Day of Remembrance. It memorializes by name each of the 33 who have died since last year’s Day of Remembrance.
“These victims had families and friends, hopes and dreams,” said Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative. “None of them deserved to have their lives stolen by horrific violence. Almost two-thirds of the victims were Black trans women, a tragedy that reflects an appalling trend of violence fueled by racism, toxic masculinity, misogyny and transphobia and the politicization of our lives.”
The list of victims include: 24-year-old Banko Brown in San Francisco; 22-year-old Maria Jose Rivera Rivera in Houston; 23-year-old Destiny Howard in Macon, Georgia; and 41-year-old Kylie Monali in Murrieta, California, to name just a few.
The 33 killings were all confirmed by authorities to be the result of homicide or were caused by another person, according to the HRC. The organization cautions that its list is likely incomplete. Victims’ deaths are sometimes unreported or misreported, and other victims may not be accurately identified as trans or gender-nonconforming in information from law enforcement and media reports.
“The epidemic of violence against transgender and gender-nonconforming people is a national embarrassment. Each of these lives taken is a tragedy — the result of a society that demeans and devalues anyone who dares challenge the gender binary,” said HRC President Kelley Robinson.
The HRC is not the only group noting an uptick in crimes against LGBTQ+ people. The FBI recently released statistics showing hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community were up about 32.9% in 2022.
This uptick also comes amid an increase in political rhetoric and legislation targeting LGBTQ+ people.
The American Civil Liberties Union recorded 508 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced in state legislatures across the country in 2023 as of Nov. 21. Of those, 84 have been signed into law.
Many of the bills have restricted access to gender-affirming care, banned drag shows, and permitted schools to ban books that make any mention of LGBTQ+ people.
This climate caused the HRC to declare a “state of emergency” for LGBTQ+ people earlier this year.
“This year we’ve seen an explosion in violent and hateful rhetoric aimed at the LGBTQ+ community, full of words that make both physical violence and discriminatory legislation more palatable for those in need of a scapegoat,” Robinson said. “This is one of many reasons why HRC declared a State of Emergency for LGBTQ+ people for the first time in our over 40-year history.”