Although recent political victories have made some major strides for transgender people, a recent report on fatal violence against the community reminds us that many trans people still live in fear.
The Human Rights Campaign released the report, which says that 2017 was the deadliest year on record for transgender people. According to the HRC report, at least 25 transgender people have been murdered this year, which is the highest on annual record.
“Their killings were committed by lovers, acquaintances, family members, neighbors, and strangers,” the report said. “While every story highlighted in this report is unique and tragic, they all also reflect a legacy of intolerance, hate, and discrimination that transgender people must navigate and surmount every day.”
“Unfortunately, it’s not a terrible surprise to us," Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, director of external affairs at the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) told Bustle. "This is something that has been happening unfortunately for many, many years.”
And with Stevenson's murder yesterday in Oklahoma City, the number is still rising. The South has proved especially dangerous for trans people, with 16 of the 25 homicides that were included in the HRC report taking place there.
The report also noted that many states, especially in the South, don't have laws protecting transgender people from discrimination.
“Indeed, in many states, anti-transgender bias is ingrained and systematically enforced in nearly all aspects of life, including in laws and government agencies, schools, housing, health care, and employment,” the report said.
Additionally, having an intersection of marginalized identities has proved even deadlier. Of the 25 people killed in 2017 before release of the HRC report, 21 were transgender women of color.
"When transphobia mixes with misogyny and racism, it can have oftentimes fatal consequences," Sarah McBride, HRC's national press secretary told Bustle.
While stats like this can be hard to deal with, there are ways you can help. Educate yourself about the issues that trans people face on a daily basis, take steps to be an effective ally, and call out transphobia wherever you see it, including with friends and family.
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