With Two Deaths Already Reported in 2015, HRC Spotlights Violence Against Transgender People

by HRC Staff

New Issue Brief Details Realities That Conspire to Put Transgender People of Color at Heightened Risk of Violence


Washington - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, in partnership with Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC), released an issue brief detailing the violence facing transgender people, and solutions that can be pursued by policymakers and public and private sector leaders to address the national crisis.

"The level of violence targeting transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, is a national crisis that the LGBT movement has a responsibility to confront,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “This issue reveals how far we still have to go in order to ensure that all members of the LGBT community have equal access to basic dignity and fair treatment.”

The reality is appalling:

  • At least 13 transgender women were murdered in 2014, and at least another two have been killed so far this year;
  • All but one of the victims were black or Latina;
  • The murders are typically gruesome and have gone mostly unsolved;
  • Local media routinely misgender these victims, and often police emphasize victims’ arrest records to diminish and miscast the lives of the murdered.

“It is imperative that we address the social, economic, policy and structural barriers and stigma that prevent transgender people--especially transgender people of color-- from living out their full potential as equal citizens,” said Kylar Broadus, TPOCC’s executive director. “We're excited to partner with HRC on this incredibly important issue affecting our community. Since its inception, TPOCC has worked tirelessly to bring to light the violence and marginalization that transgender people of color suffer, and we look forward to working with the LGBT movement more broadly to expand efforts to address these issues.”

HRC and TPOCC join other LGBT advocates in calling for federal, state and municipal agencies, as well as foundations, corporations and philanthropists to take these actions immediately to reduce the risk for transgender people:

  • Support Emergency Housing Initiatives
  • Expand Healthcare Coverage for Transgender people
  • Address Unemployment through Public-Private Partnerships and Non-Discrimination Protections
  • Improve Educational Environments for Transgender Students
  • Improve Law Enforcement Training and Response

This crisis is exacerbated by the challenges faced by the transgender community. Transgender women of color face both racism and transphobia, which too often propel them into poverty, and prevent them from accessing jobs, housing, and healthcare. In too many cases, the are treated unfairly by law enforcement, and their lives are literally put in peril when they are denied access to safety net services including emergency shelters and rape crisis centers.

“HRC is committed to continue fighting against the legal barriers and social stigmas that allow this kind of violence to persist,” Griffin said. “Transgender people are suffering and losing their lives in this country, and we've got to work together to roll back this tide of violence."

To learn more, download the issue brief at www.hrc.org/trans-violence.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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