With four weeks left in the year, 2017 will be remembered by the LGBTQ community as the deadliest year for transgender people in the United States. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), at least 25 transgender people have had their lives cut short due to transphobia against people who don’t identify with their biological sex.
The HRC Foundation and the Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC) released “A Time to Act: Fatal Violence Against Transgender People in America in 2017,” where they paid homage to this year’s victims and memorialized factors that have caused this year’s violence against the transgender community to be worse than any previous year.
“Each of the stories featured in this report is unique, tragic and devastating,” stated TPOCC Executive Director Kylar Broadus. “Unpacking these stories is a difficult but necessary process if we as a society want to protect the most vulnerable and address the root causes for their unjust and premature deaths.”
Many who work for the community have linked the uptick in violence to the election of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. The two have surrounded themselves with like-minded anti-LGBTQ organizations and people. Just last month Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III issued a statement allowing private businesses who have religious beliefs that conflict with LGBTQ people to discriminate against them on the basis of “religious freedom.”
This comes after Trump proposed a ban on transgender people in the military over the summer, a ban blocked by a federal judge in Washington last month.
About 7 out of 10 youths who identify as transgender told HRC they have experienced or witnessed an increase in bullying and harassment since the presidential campaign in 2016.
The HRC report served as a finale to Transgender Awareness Week, which took place Nov. 13 to 17. HRC also announced that earlier in the week more than 1,400 parents of transgender youths signed a “declaration of rights.”
Through the declaration, those parents said, “We are incredibly proud of our transgender children. They have shown our families and the world a courage and authenticity that has filled our hearts and opened our minds. Their lives enrich our homes, our schools, and our communities.”
HRC’s report was also a timely release in time with the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20, a day that remembers all who have lost their lives as a direct result of violence.