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Subject: On Trans Day of Remembrance, There Must be a Conversation About Gun Violence

Today marks Trans Day of Remembrance, a time to honor those killed as a result of anti-transgender violence in the past year. As Destini Philpot, a gender nonconforming volunteer with Students Demand Action Baltimore, writes in Out, “It is impossible to talk about violence against the trans community without mentioning gun violence.”

So far in 2019, at least 22 trans or gender nonconforming people have been killed nationwide — 17 have been killed with a gun. Often times, these deaths do not get the attention they deserve, but reports have identified the following trans or gender nonconforming whose lives were cut short this year: Dana Martin, Jazzaline Ware, Ashanti Carmon, Claire Legato, Muhlaysia Booker, Michelle “Tamika” Washington, Paris Cameron, Chynal Lindsey, Chanel Scurlock, Zoe Spears, Brooklyn Lindsay, Denali Berries Stuckey, Tracy Single, Bubba Walker, Kiki Fantroy, Jordan Cofer, Pebbles LaDime “Dime” Doe, Bailey Reeves, Bee Love Slater, Jamagio Jamar Berryman, Itali Marlowe and Brianna “BB” Hill.

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund recently released a first-of-its-kind interactive, publicly-available platform, Everystat. In addition to breaking down gun violence to the state- and county-level, the platform includes a database of known homicides of trans or gender nonconforming people in the United States, going back to 2017. 

Some startling patterns include:

  • At least 77 trans people have been killed in the United States since 2017 — Three-fourths of them with a gun. 
  • Of the 22 known trans people killed this year, all but one have been Black women.
  • Trans communities in some states are experiencing fatal violence more than others. 
  • California, the most populous state, has seen one trans person killed in the past three years, while Texas, the second-most populous state, has seen 11 trans people killed.

As the numbers show, violence against the trans community is inherently linked to guns. If policymakers want to prevent violence against trans communities — or any community — they can start by strengthening America’s gun laws.