2020 was the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the US, Insider database shows. Experts say it's getting worse.

Madison Hall,Canela López
·2 min read
Transgender homicide victims Riah Milton and Dominique Fells 2x1
Riah Milton and Dominique Fells were killed less than 24 hours apart last June. Their deaths sparked a wave of protests in support of Black trans lives. Courtesy of Ariel Mary Ann; Facebook; Skye Gould/Insider
  • More trans people were killed in 2020 than in any year on record. A majority were Black trans women.

  • The American Medical Association said that while the rate of violence is increasing, we are nowhere near the breaking point.

  • Insider compiled a database to track every trans person killed in 2019, 2020, and 2021 and the trends behind these deaths.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Last year, as the coronavirus ravaged the United States, a less publicized epidemic took the lives of Americans.

2020 was the deadliest year on record for trans people in the US: 45 transgender people were killed, up from 26 in both 2018 and 2019. This year is already on pace to be even deadlier, with 15 killings in the first 109 days.

The real number of deaths is likely much higher, and climbing faster than data can show.

Law enforcement routinely misgenders transgender victims. Being closeted out of fear can keep many trans people from being gendered correctly on their death certificates. Grassroots trans-rights groups are left to carry the mantle, but they lack the bandwidth and funding to thoroughly investigate every death.

"I'm not convinced we're anywhere near a nadir of the kinds of acts and stigma and discrimination that lead to the violence that we've been talking about," Dr. Jesse Ehrenfeld, a spokesperson for the American Medical Association, told Insider.

Today we are sharing Insider's Transgender Homicide Project, a database born of hundreds of hours of work to provide the most up-to-date account of trans homicides in the US. The goal of this database, which will be updated quarterly, is to record these deaths, track the trends behind them, and call attention to the killings of trans people in America.

The data shows a steady rise in transphobic attacks in the US in recent years, particularly against Black trans people, in the South, and in Puerto Rico, with guns as the primary weapon.

Insider spoke to relatives of victims, to public-health experts, and to activists, who said the US's failure to officially document and track these deaths creates an uphill battle to end the killings.

Black trans people are being killed at an alarming rate

Insider originally included Jamagio Jamar Berryman in the database as a gender nonconforming man, but his family suggested he did not identify as transgender. He has been removed from the database and the graphics have been updated accordingly.

Read the original article on Insider