HRC Foundation Report: Epidemic of Violence Continues; Transgender and Gender Nonconforming People Still Killed at Disproportionate Rates in 2023

Updated on November 21, 2023

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC), the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, and its Public Education and Research program published The Epidemic of Violence Against the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Community in the United States:  The 2023 Report a report released on Trans Day of Remembrance to memorialize the lives of the transgender and gender nonconforming people killed this year. 

Since 2013, HRC has recorded the deaths of 335 transgender and gender non-conforming victims of fatal violence–including at least 33 deaths in the last 12 months (from after Transgender Day of Remembrance 2022, or November 21, 2022, through November 20, 2023). We say “at least,” as many deaths often go unreported or misreported, or misgendering of victims leads to delays in their identification. What we do know, however, is that the 33 people we lost in the last year were overwhelmingly young and people of color, with Black trans women disproportionately impacted. A plurality of victims were killed by a friend, family, or romantic/sexual intimate partner, and guns were involved in the majority of cases.  

In the last 12 months:

  • Nine in ten (90.9%) trans and gender non-conforming victims were people of color
    • Seven in ten (69.7%) were transgender women 
    • More than six in ten (61.8%) were Black transgender women 
  • Victims were an average of 28 years old at the time of their death
    • Three-quarters (78.8%) were under the age of 35
  • The killer was unknown in one-third (33.3%) of all cases.
    • Among those with a known killer, almost half (45.5%) were killed by a friend, family member, or sexual/romantic intimate partner 
  • Seven in ten (69.7%) victims were killed with a firearm
  • More than half (51.5%) were initially misgendered by the police or in news reports 

“The epidemic of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people is a national tragedy and a national embarrassment,” said Kelly Robinson, President of the Human Rights Campaign. “Each of the lives taken is the result of a society that demeans and devalues anyone who dares challenge the gender binary. In statehouses across the nation, we’ve seen bills signed into law that ban gender-affirming healthcare, make schools unsafe for LGBTQ+ youth, and ban transgender and non-binary people from public bathrooms.. Even before the horrific Club Q shooting last November, we’ve seen bomb threats directed at schools, hospitals and libraries simply for supporting transgender and non-binary people. Each of these grotesque actions serves to increase stigma and create a hostile environment that endangers the lives of anyone outside the gender binary. We must imagine a better future for transgender and gender non-conforming people—not just surviving, but truly living as free and equal members of our society.” 

Unfortunately, the same trends that emerged in this report, match what we have seen year over year for the 11 years since tracking began in 2013. Since 2013, fatal violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people has disproportionately impacted the BIPOC community: At least 286 BIPOC trans and gender non-conforming people have been killed –translating to 85% of all victims identified to -date. Almost two-thirds (61.8%) of all victims have been Black trans women–a total of 207 lives lost. The majority of victims (76.4%) were under the age of 35, almost 70% of incidents involved a firearm, and many cases remain unsolved. 

In 2023, for the first time in its 40+ year history, the Human Rights Campaign declared a National State of Emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans, in response to the over 550 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced into state houses across the country, more than 80 of which were passed into law. The vast majority of the bills introduced in 2023— over 220—specifically targeted transgender people in an attempt to: limit access to schoolsports, school restrooms and locker rooms; ban access to safe, effective, age-appropriate gender-affirming medical care; and remove inclusive books and references to LGBTQ+ identities and experiences from school curricula. This occurred against a backdrop of an increasing number of anti-trans hate crimes, with the FBI reporting that the number of hate crimes based on gender identity increased 32% from 2021 to 2022.  

“Almost two-thirds of the victims reported on were Black trans women, a tragedy that reflects an appalling trend of violence fueled by racism, toxic masculinity, trans misogynoir and transphobia and the politicization of our lives,” said Tori Cooper Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative for the Human Rights Campaign. “These victims had families, friends, hopes, dreams and none of them deserved to have their lives stolen by horrific violence. We need everyone to join us in empowering transgender leaders, building safer, stronger communities and reducing stigma. We cannot rest until all transgender and gender non-conforming people can live our lives safely as our full selves.” 

Since November 21, 2022—the day after  2022’s Transgender Day of Remembrance— we’ve identified  the following individuals who lost their lives to senseless violence against the transgender community:  Diamond Jackson-McDonaldDestiny HowardMar’Quis ‘MJ’ JacksonCaelee Love-LightMorgan MooreKylie MonaliLondon Starr, Jasmine “Star” Mack,  KC JohnsonUnique Banks, Zachee Imanitwitaho, Maria Jose Rivera Rivera, Chashay Henderson, Tortuguita, Ta’Siyah Woodland Ashley Burton, Koko Da Doll, Banko Brown, Ashia Davis, Chanell Perez Ortiz, Jacob Williamson, Camdyn Rider, DéVonnie J’Rae Johnson, Thomas ‘Tom-Tom’ Robertson, YOKO, Luis Ángel Díaz Castro, Chyna Long, Sherlyn Marjorie, A’nee Johnson, Dominic Dupree, and Lisa Love, London Price, and LaKendra Andrews.  

To read the full Fatal Violence report, visit here. To read toplines from the report data, visit here.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people. Through its programs, the HRC Foundation seeks to make transformational change in the everyday lives of LGBTQ+ people, shedding light on inequity and deepening the public’s understanding of LGBTQ+ issues, with a clear focus on advancing transgender and racial justice. Its work has transformed the landscape for more than 15 million workers, 11 million students, 1 million clients in the adoption and foster care system and so much more. The HRC Foundation provides direct consultation and technical assistance to institutions and communities, driving the advancement of inclusive policies and practices; it builds the capacity of future leaders and allies through fellowship and training programs; and, with the firm belief that we are stronger working together, it forges partnerships with advocates in the U.S. and around the globe to increase our impact and shape the future of our work.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.