More Transgender People Have Been Killed in 2015 Than Any Other Year on Record

 

At vigils across the country today, people are honoring the victims of fatal anti-transgender violence as part of an annual Transgender Day of Remembrance. At least 21 transgender people have been killed in the United States already this year, which is more homicides than any other year on record, according to a recent report by Human Rights Campaign. During the first six months of the year alone, more transgender people were killed than in all of 2014. Most of the victims were transgender women of color. So far, none of the attacks have been deemed hate crimes.

On Tuesday, a congressional task force launched in response to the “epidemic of violence against the transgender community.” The Transgender Equality Task Force, chaired by Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.), who has a transgender granddaughter, aims to understand the causes of anti-transgender violence and identify what the federal government can do to improve the situation.

Activists say it’s hard to know exactly how many transgender people are killed every year. One problem, they say, is that police officers often refer to transgender homicide victims with names and pronouns reflecting their gender of birth, rather than their gender identity. (For example, transgender women are often described by police officers as men.) And while the FBI last year began publishing statistics on hate crimes against gender-nonconforming people, the bureau’s figures only reflect cases reported to authorities. Some crime-reporting programs at the state level have also opted, for budgetary reasons, not to collect data on hate crimes against transgender people, according to an FBI spokesman. Lauren Smith, a press contact for Honda, the chair of the congressional task force, said the issue of data collection has come up in discussions among task force members, but that the group won’t be meeting until shortly after Thanksgiving to hammer out specific agenda items they hope to address.

Read more of MoJo‘s coverage on anti-transgender violence here.

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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