Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has vowed to address the “epidemic” of violence against transgender Americans if elected and accused the Trump administration of fuelling “the flames of transphobia.”
The Human Rights Campaign has recorded at least 33 transgender and non-binary Americans murdered this year.
With two months left in 2020, this is the highest annual number since HRC’s records began in 2013. Most victims are Black and Latinx trans women. The true numbers are also likely higher due to misgendering of victims.
Joe Biden said these deaths “don’t exist within a vacuum” and blasted the Trump administration’s trans rights record.
“Dehumanizing government actions and rhetoric, as well as a failure to address risk factors like domestic and intimate partner violence, underemployment and unemployment and poverty, housing insecurity and health disparities, put this community at risk,” he said.
He said Donald Trump banned “transgender patriots from serving their country” in the US military.
Trump has also “attempted to limit transgender people’s access to healthcare in the midst of a pandemic,” Biden said.
“[The Trump admistration] literally erased the word transgender from government websites,” he said.
“President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have fueled the flames of transphobia in our nation while refusing to acknowledge the epidemic of violence.”
Joe Biden pledges to pass the Equality Act
Joe Biden said if elected on November 3 he would prioritise action against anti-transgender discrimination.
“My administration will enact the Equality Act to end legal discrimination against LGBTQ+ people,” he said.
“[We will] expand economic opportunities for LGBTQ+ people, reform our treatment of transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals in our criminal justice system, [and] ensure access to accurate identification documents.”
He also pledged to improve government data collection to better track violence against the US trans community.
The US election is on November 4. However due to the COVID-19 pandemic many Americans have voted early.
2020 the deadliest year on record for transgender Americans
Brooklyn DeShuna (pictured right) died of a gunshot wound in Shreveport, Louisiana, on October 7.
Sara Blackwood died on October 11 of a gunshot wound as she walked home after work at an Indianapolis restaurant.
Felycya Harris, a 33-year-old Black trans woman, was also shot and killed in Augusta, Georgia.
Tori Cooper of the Human Rights Campaign said none of the victims “deserved to have their lives taken from them.”
“We’ve now seen more trans and gender non-conforming people killed this year since we began tracking these deaths in 2013,” HRC’s Tori Cooper said.
“This violence is horrific, and it must be stopped.
“We will continue fighting for justice for all trans and gender non-conforming people.”
On November 20, the Trans Day of Remembrance is held each year to honour the memory of those lost to discrimination and transphobia.
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