2020 is seeing an "epidemic" in transgender and gender non-conforming murders

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/07/15/2020-is-seeing-an-epidemic.html


I kind of keep track of this year to year. Last year it was about one death every 2-3 weeks. This year, it’s one death every 1.2-1.3 weeks.

It’s definitely worse. I worry about my wife a lot because she is trans.


Trans people are right at the top of conservative America’s current hate list, as well as being the targets of more “genteel” TERF bigotry in the establishment. This increase is partially the outcome of a 2016 election that legitimised open and violent bigotry in the eyes of a certain segment of the American public – another reason we can’t afford to let them win this November. We’ve seen where this sort of thing went in the past.


In uncertain times, it’s always the most vulnerable groups who become even more subject to violence… I’m hoping your wife stays safe. Along with all of the trans folks out there.

We have and it’s distressing that people can’t understand that very fundamental connection between this kind of vocal dehumanization and violence against vulnerable groups.


There’s generally been an increase in hate crimes across the board since the Trump administration started, but is this increase largely due to more murders, or more accurate statistics? Because it’s not like there was a time when America wasn’t murderously abusive towards trans folk.

(Given the way hate crimes are reported - or rather, the way they’re mostly not reported - by local police to the FBI or by the media, the way trans people can be mis-identified, etc., it seems like the numbers are largely being collected via social networks rather than via official statistics. So it would therefore seem that the numbers are both too low and increasingly inaccurate the further back you go.)


I think you are correct. Often the sites I frequent that focus on transgender issues will identify a murder months later because of the misgendering that happens.

Although, across the board hate crimes are skyrocketing. As a single point of anect-data my wife and I are both trans and are seeing much more outspoken hate and nastiness. Five years ago, nobody really was aware of us, or really cared that much. Nowadays she get’s clocked as trans a lot, and I find as a transgender man when I reference I am trans I get a lot more blowback in some circles.

In a more hopeful light, the focus of hatred at the trans community is also creating some very vocal allies. At least in western Washington, I am noticing bystanders stepping in more this summer than I have ever seen.


I do get the impression that the right-wing “culture warriors,” having lost so many battles, are now saving all their ammo for furthering transphobia, seeing this as the wedge that, if they can shove it through, will then open up a crack of new opportunities for follow up attacks on gay rights, women’s rights and everything else they’re after. So they’re pushing it hard. Sounds like it’s working to some degree.


That’s good to hear, at the very least. My hope is that in the coming years that translates into measurable action in putting in better protections for transfolks and protecting more of them in the short term.


Much love to your wife.


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