HRC is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Brianna “BB” Hill, who also spelled her name as Breonna Be’Be Hill, a Black transgender woman who was killed in Kansas City on Monday.

Hill, 30, shot by a man who is currently in custody, was pronounced dead when officers arrived on the scene. Kansas City Police Capt. Tim Hernandez told local press that the alleged shooter remained at the scene until they arrived.

She was a beloved member of her community, a fan of the Kansas City football team and loved spreading joy by sharing funny videos on her Facebook page.

Hill is at least the 22nd known transgender or gender non-conforming person killed this year, the majority of whom were Black transgender women. She is at least the 3rd known transgender or gender non-conforming person to be killed in Kansas City this year. Additionally, other transgender and gender non-conforming individuals have died in the last year under suspicious circumstances, including Bubba Walker, Johana ‘Joa’ Medina and Layleen Polanco.

Of the known transgender people killed this year, 14 have died from gun violence. Of the more than 150 known victims of anti-transgender violence from 2013 to present, approximately two-thirds of those killed were victims of gun violence.

In November 2018, ahead of Transgender Day of Remembrance, HRC Foundation released “A National Epidemic: Fatal Anti-Transgender Violence in America in 2018,” a heartbreaking report honoring the trans people killed and detailing the contributing and motivating factors that lead to this tragic violence. 

These victims are not numbers -- they were people with hopes and plans, dreams for the future, loved ones and communities who will miss them every day. 

There are currently very few explicit legal protections for transgender or gender-expansive people. While transgender people in Kansas City are explicitly protected across many aspects of daily life, including housing and employment, they are not covered under the state’s hate crimes legislation.  

Despite marginal gains in state and local policies that support and affirm transgender people, recent years have been marked by anti-LGBTQ attacks at all levels of government. We must demand better from our elected officials and reject harmful anti-transgender legislation appearing at the local, state and federal levels because it is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color. The intersections of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia and homophobia conspire to deprive them of necessities to live and thrive.

HRC will continue to hold the Trump administration and all elected officials who fuel the flames of hate accountable at the ballot box.

This epidemic of violence that disproportionately targets transgender people of color -- particularly Black transgender women -- must cease.

For more information about HRC’s transgender justice work, visit hrc.org/Transgender.


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