Human Rights Campaign released a report noting that 32 transgender people have been killed in 2022 ahead of Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday. File Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Ahead of Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday, Human Rights Campaign has released a report noting that more than two dozen transgender people have been killed this year.
The LGBTQ advocacy organization released the report titled An Epidemic of Violence: Fatal Violence Against Transgender and Non-Conforming People in the United States in 2022 on Wednesday, documenting ten years of transphobic violence.
The HRC report found that 32 trans people were violently killed in 2022 alone and 300 were killed since 2013.
"For 10 years we at HRC have tracked fatal violence against trans and gender non-conforming people, with the goal of memorializing their lives and uplifting their stories to bring this epidemic of violence to an end. Each and every one of the at least 300 people killed since 2013 was a person with a full, rich life that did not deserve to be cut short," said Shoshana Goldberg, the director of public education and research for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.
According to the report, 85% of victims were people of color, 69% were Black, 15% were Hispanic, 77% of victims were under the age of 35, and 69% of deaths were inflicted via a firearm.
Additionally, 15 people were killed by police or while incarcerated in jails, prisons, or Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention centers, including two in 2022 alone.
The report also found that 40% of perpetrators remained at large.
The report comes ahead of the Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday, which was created to honor Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was murdered on November 28, 1998. The murder caused outrage amongst activists who launched the "Remembering our Dead," project to honor those killed in incidents of transphobic violence.
"The Transgender Day of Remembrance is a solemn tradition, a moment where transgender and non-binary people can gather together to mourn the lost and hope for a better future. Ten years and over 300 deaths that we know of is a grim milestone," said Tori Cooper, the director of community engagement for Human Rights Campaign's Transgender Justice Initiative.
Goldberg noted that 2020 "saw unprecedented amounts of negative rhetoric and stigma aimed by anti-equality political leaders and public figures at transgender and non-binary people" as multiple U.S. states have introduced legislation banning gender-affirming medical care and targeting LGBTQ+ students.
Texas legislators introduced two bills targeting gender-affirming medical care this week. Additionally, legislation was introduced that would classify drag shows as "sexually oriented businesses." In June the Texas GOP updated its party platform to classify homosexuality as an "abnormal lifestyle choice."
"We believe there should be no granting of special legal entitlements or creation of special status for homosexual behavior, regardless of state of origin, and we oppose any criminal or civil penalties against those who oppose homosexuality our of faith, conviction, or belief in traditional values," read the 40-page document.
Earlier this month a Virginia legislator introduced a bill that would require students to play on athletic teams based on their biological sex and bar public schools from competing against private schools that don't adhere to the same rule.
In Florida, the state Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine approved a draft rule to ban medical or surgical gender-affirming care for transgender individuals under 18.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also signed the Parental Rights Education which took effect in July, stating that "classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards."
The flurry of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in U.S. states has been met with anger and disgust by advocates.
"This report comes amidst a shockingly large wave of anti-transgender legislation, driven by disinformation and stigma. Nationwide more than two dozen anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been enacted out of more than 250 introduced, ranging from bans on transgender youth playing sports with their peers and using bathrooms and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity, to cruel bans on doctors providing safe, legal, and medically necessary gender-affirming medical care," read a press release from HRC.