With the ongoing attacks against the transgender community, violence against LGBTQ+ communities is once again top of mind. Across the country, LGBTQ+ people — particularly Black transgender women — continue to be disproportionately impacted by acts of gun violence. In the month of April alone, at least two transgender people were shot and killed. On April 18, Koko Da Doll, a Black trans woman featured in an award-winning documentary about Black transgender sex workers, was shot and killed in Atlanta, and just last week, Banko Brown, a Black trans man, was shot and killed at a Walgreens in San Francisco.
These shootings are not isolated — they fall on a backdrop of violence impacting LGBTQ+ communities across the country. 2022 was a deadly year for trans and gender non-conforming people in the U.S., and Latina and Black transgender women were disproportionately impacted by the violence. This pattern shows no signs of stopping in 2023. Koko’s death was the third violent crime against a transgender woman this year in Atlanta alone, and Banko’s death marks at least the 11th violent death of a transgender or gender non-conforming person this year in the United States and Puerto Rico. It’s likely there have been more deaths than have gone unreported or victims who have been misgendered.
This violence comes as queer communities have been the subject of targeted attacks in the media, at events, and even in state legislatures. Some states across the country have been advancing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation while simultaneously dismantling their gun safety laws. The result is a deadly environment where LGBTQ+ people have to live in fear for their safety.
These tragedies permanently alter communities across the country, leaving both visible and invisible scars on survivors and loved ones. According to Everytown’s recent report on LGBTQ+ bias and guns, gun violence, racism, and violence against the trans and gender non-conforming communities are closely intertwined. Guns are the most frequently used weapon in the murder of trans people. Nearly three-fourths of trans people killed in America from 2017 to 2022 were killed with a gun. To keep trans and gender-nonconforming people safe, lawmakers at every level must take action to prioritize legislation that protects communities from hate-fueled violence.
Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has tracked homicides of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the U.S. since 2017. In addition to breaking down gun violence to the state- and county level, EveryStat includes a database of known trans or gender non-conforming homicide victims in the United States.