According to a 2020 report by HRC, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, Giffords Law Center and Equality Florida, “Remembering and Honoring Pulse: Anti-LGBTQ Bias and Guns Are Taking the Lives of Countless LGBTQ People.” The report notes a significant increase in hate crimes against LGBTQ+, particularly against transgender people. Additionally, in 2019, advocates saw a 43% increase in the formation of anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups. Guns are all too commonly used in deadly violence against transgender and gender non-singing people. As reported by the Human Rights Campaign, between 2013 and 2022, more than two-thirds (69%) of all transgender and gender-nonconforming victims of deadly violence were killed with a gun or firearm—the majority of whom (68%) were black transgender women.
In an injustice that compounds this tragedy, Destiny has been misgendered in some media and police reports. The anti-transgender stigma is exacerbated by the callous or disrespectful treatment by some in the media, law enforcement and elected officials. According to HRC research, it has been estimated that around three quarters of all known victims were mistreated by the media and/or law enforcement. In pursuit of greater accuracy and respect, HRC provides guidelines for journalists and others reporting on transgender people. HRC, Media Matters and the Trans Journalists Association have also joined forces to create an FAQ for reporters writing about anti-trans violence.
At the state level, transgender and gender non-conforming people in Georgia are not specifically protected by state laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, education, and public spaces. Georgia’s hate crime law covers sexual orientation but does not explicitly include gender identity. Although we’ve seen some recent political gains that support and validate transgender people, this year we’ve also faced anti-LGBTQ+ attacks at many levels of government. In 2022 alone, HRC prosecuted more than 345 anti-LGBTQ+ laws introduced in state houses across the country, more than 145 of which specifically target transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.
We must demand better of our elected officials and oppose harmful anti-transgender laws at the local, state and federal levels while considering all possible avenues to end this violence. It is clear that deadly violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, particularly black transgender women. The intersections of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia, and homophobia conspire to rob them of the necessities to live and thrive, so we must all work together to cultivate acceptance, reject hate, and remove the stigma for all in the trans and gender non-conforming to end community.