Story at a glance

  • A record number of transgender Americans were killed last year as anti-trans hate crimes soared.
  • So far this year, at least 13 transgender Americans have died, compared to seven at this time last year, putting 2021 on pace to break yet another record.
  • The number of murdered transgender Americans is likely higher due to both underreporting and misreporting.

Nearly twice as many transgender Americans have been killed in 2021 as were killed at this point last year, according to data from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), putting this year on track to outpace last year’s record high number of transgender killings

Thirteen transgender or gender-nonconforming people have been reported fatally shot or killed by other violent means so far this year, compared to seven at this time last year. More than half of them were Black transgender women, who are disproportionately affected by gender-based violence. 


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One of the oldest victims this year was Kimmy Icon Braxton, a 45-year-old hairstylist killed in Miami, and among the youngest were siblings Jeffrey “JJ” Bright, a 16-year-old student, and Jasmine Cannady, who was 22. Most recently, Dominique Lucious, a 26-year-old Black transgender woman, was reported shot and killed in Springfield, Mont., on April 8.

“The high level of violence that transgender and gender non-conforming people continue to face is not acceptable. We must do more to end this violence. While details are still emerging, we’ve become aware that Dominique may have been killed by someone she knew. We must be able to trust those who are in our lives — otherwise, who can we trust?" said Tori Cooper, HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, in a statement


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More than half of transgender and gender-nonconforming people have experienced some form of intimate partner violence in their life, according to a recent report, and many incidents of fatal violence are committed by someone that knew the victim. 

In 2020, the HRC tracked at least 44 deaths, almost double the year before, making it the most violent year on record since HRC began tracking fatal violence against the transgender community in 2013. In that same period, hate crimes motivated by bias against gender identity increased by 20 percent, according to the FBI, among a record number of hate crimes reported by law enforcement agencies — which again, is likely higher. The killings continue as state lawmakers across the country consider legislation to restrict the rights of transgender youth in education and healthcare. 

“We need everyone to speak up and support trans lives at every level, from family conversations to legislative debates. Only then will we be able to eradicate stigma against transgender and gender non-conforming people, and end this violence,” said Cooper. 


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Published on Apr 13, 2021