Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to recognize the high rates of violence that trans people face around the world.
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs tracks anti-LGBTQ violence in the United States and puts together an annual report that builds understanding of both the violence LGBTQ people deal with as well as the difficulties of accurately gauging the widespread problem. Here are three charts from the most recent report that shine some light on this complicated reality.
This past year saw fewer anti-LGBTQ and anti-HIV homicides than previous years, but rates of violence are still alarmingly high. The homicide rate for trans people specifically is shocking—of the 25 anti-LGBTQ and anti-HIV murders reported in the past year, 53.8 percent were transgender women.
Another depressing reality relates to race. Queer and transgender people of color are far more likely to face violence than their white counterparts. White people make up 78 percent of the US population, but only 44 percent of queer and transgender people who report violence. The specific threat to transgender folks is clear: Transgender people of color were 2.59 times as likely to experience police violence compared to white cisgender survivors and victims.
This chart shows the racial breakdown of all people who were survivors and victims of anti-LGBTQ and anti-HIV violence in 2012.
One reason reports of anti-LGBTQ violence aren’t even higher is that many queer and transgender folks don’t feel they can trust the police. Many people say they did not report the crime against them to police and others who have reported crimes have bad experiences with the officers taking their report.
Relations with police and the criminal system are especially bad for transgender people. Transgender women were 2.90 times as likely to experience police violence compared to overall survivors and victims and high-profile cases like Cece McDonald's make it clear that the justice system can wind up punishing trans folks who defend themselves. The report recommends supporting "anti-violence programs to create community-based interventions that do not rely on the criminal legal system."
Of course, we should be thinking about these issues every day, not just once a year and focusing on the lives and accomplishments of trans folks, not just their deaths. The statistics—like that 238 trans people were killed around the globe this year—can obscure the unique human stories of each person who has faced violence in their own way. But these charts show disturbing patterns that are crucial to recognize, name, and change.
For more on Transgender Day of Remembrance, read TransGriot's post remembering some beloved people who died before the day became official.
Photo illustration at top is via That Cub.