WASHINGTON, DC — Since January of 2021, at least 46 transgender or gender-nonconforming/non-binary people in the United States have had their lives taken from them - putting 2021 on track to be the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States.
To draw attention to this epidemic of transphobic violence, the National Black Justice Coalition tracks these deaths in the Stolen Lives initiative - keeping a record of every person killed to get a better picture of their lives, hopes, dreams, and passions so they are more than just a death statistic.
To address this epidemic of violence against the transgender community, the National Black Justice Coalition is calling for:
The White House to release and implement recommendations gathered through the inter-agency working group listening sessions created to advance transgender safety, opportunity, and inclusion.
Congress to appropriate funds to support Department of Justice investigations into the murders of transgender people and ensure federal, state, and local law enforcement agency staff have culturally competent guidance, professional development, and investigation support to solve these murders and convict perpetrators. This guidance must include updated policies on deadnaming, misgendering, and up-to-date pictures for community tip reporting in addition to restorative justice sentencing options.
The Department of Justice investigates law enforcement agencies with a record of not reporting transgender murders and not investigating them in the same way that DOJ investigates law enforcement agencies with a history of racial bias in their policing.
All of us to do more in our own lives to reduce the stigma, bias, and discrimination that fuels the violence against Black transgender women by seeking out resources like those NBJC's Organizing Manager recommends in his special Transgender Day of Remembrance/Resilience community letter HERE.
"With at least forty-six transgender people murdered in the United States this year, 2021 is on track to be the deadliest year ever for transgender people in America. The number of deaths compared to the population size of less than 0.8% is a national crisis. For Black people who face an onslaught of violence, the murders of Black transgender people feel like a silent epidemic that prevents every member of our beautifully diverse community from being safe, happy, healthy, and whole. All levels of our government need urgent action to address this crisis. It is incumbent upon all of us to stop these killings and protect our transgender siblings," explained David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition. "At a time when Republican-led legislatures throughout the country are passing laws aimed at undermining the rights and safety of transgender children - we need a robust response from the federal government that loudly declares that all transgender lives have value and that transgender people are not disposable."
Naming just a few of the transgender people murdered this year, Johns continued, "Jaida's life matters. Dominique's life matters. Remy's life matters. Tiara's life matters. Natalie's life matters. Iris' life matters. Tiffany's life matters. Keri's life matters. Jahaira's life matters. We say their names to honor them, knowing that true justice is never possible for them because true justice would have them living and celebrating life with us now. We can and must do better. The time for action is now."
The National Black Justice Coalition has tools on how to reduce gender-based violence here: nbjc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Words-Matter-Gender-Bias-Toolkit-2019-vFINAL.pdf .
The NBJC Stolen Lives list of trans and non-binary siblings lost to violence and hate can be found here: nbjc.org/stolen-lives/ .
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is America's leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+, and same gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) people including people living with HIV.