US school shooting survivor David Hogg addresses trans murders at AIDS conference
US school shooting survivor David Hogg took to the stage at the US Conference on AIDS earlier this month, where he spoke about the impact gun violence has on transgender people.
Hogg held up a fan on stage that was styled on the trans flag, with the words: “End trans gun violence” written on it.
The words on the fan, and Hogg’s subsequent speech, refers to the high number of trans people – particularly trans women – who are murdered with guns in the US.
2017 was the deadliest year on record for trans women in the US, with 28 victims reported.
Taking to the stage, Hogg said: “We’re more upset about a pair of shoes than gun violence… or HIV/Aids.
“Don’t let politicians divide us. Don’t let our labels divide us. No matter the size of your platform, speak up and then be willing to hand the mic to others,” he added.
Speaking about his speech on Twitter after the conference, Hogg thanked conference organisers and pointed his followers to resources to find out more about how gun violence affects the trans community.
“While I was at the [US Conference on AIDS] I learned that one of the biggest issues the trans community faces when it comes to gun violence is that often times Trans people are misgendered by law enforcement, local media and even family members,” he added in a follow up tweet.
“This often can make the amount of gun violence the trans community faces be reported as significantly less [than] it actually is. Which is horrifying because of how many hate crimes can go unreported when people are not identified as being trans.”
Hogg is an activist and gun control advocate, and rose to prominence after he survived the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in February of this year.
The horrific mass shooting resulted in the deaths of 17 students and staff members, with 17 more being injured.
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Nikolas Cruz was subsequently identified as the assailant, and has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.
The shooting became the deadliest mass shooting at a school in US history.
Hogg and a number of other survivors of the attack have since become vocal supporters of gun control. He has since written a book called #NeverAgain: A New Generation Draws the Line along with his sister.
Violence against trans people continues to be a major issue across the world, including in the US. The situation was so severe that Laverne Cox called it a “state of emergency” in 2015.
Since then, statistics suggest that the situation has only gotten worse, with last year being the deadliest on record for trans people in the US.
Speaking in 2015, Cox said the trans community in the US was “reeling” and added: “Your life should not be in danger simply for being who you are.”