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At least 350 transgender people have been murdered in the last year alone – with 152 in Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil

Lily Wakefield November 20, 2020
350 transgender people murdered this year

A candlelit vigil for Transgender Day of Remembrance, 2019. (Scott Varley/Digital First Media/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty)

Around the world, at least 350 transgender people have been murdered in the last year alone, 152 of which were killed in Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil.

Each year, 20 November marks Trans Day of Remembrance, a day to honour, mourn and celebrate the lives of the trans and non-binary people who have been killed.

The Transrespect versus Transphobia Worldwide (TvT) research project has published its annual data gathered through Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM), and found that between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020, a minimum of 350 trans people were murdered.

This is a worrying increase on last year’s figure of 331, but because of a lack of data on LGBT+ populations around the world it is still likely to be a fraction of the true number of deaths.

The average age of those killed was, heartbreakingly, just 31. The youngest victim recorded was 15-years-old, and more than a fifth of transgender people killed were murdered in their own homes.

Almost all (98 per cent) of the trans people killed were trans women or trans feminine and 62 per cent were sex workers. 79 per cent of those killed in the US were trans people of colour. 

A large majority of the murders (82 per cent) took place in Central and South America. Under the leadership of Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil saw 152 trans people killed, more than any other country.

In a joint statement LGBT+ rights groups from around the world, including Stonewall , Transgender Law Center and ILGA World, said: “Trans activists and movements are persistently fighting to ensure that trans rights, policies, and legal measures protecting trans people are put in place.

“However, the lives of trans and gender-diverse people remain constantly at risk, particularly for those of us who are affected by racism, sexism, misogyny, xenophobia, ableism and anti-sex worker sentiment and discrimination.

“Increasing hostility from anti-trans feminist groups, exclusion from mainstream LGBT groups, and the rise of political networks mobilising anti-gender movements severely aggravate these risks.

“November is a particularly painful month for trans people.

“Trans Day of Remembrance reminds us of how normative and oppressive systems strive to erase us, to eradicate our existence. This date reminds us that violence towards one of us is violence towards all of us.

“It reminds us of the urgency and importance of building more self-aware, resilient, and connected trans movements. It is not enough that we are in one another’s thoughts; we have to be in one another’s actions.

“We will not let anyone stop us from fighting for our dignity, caring for our communities, and celebrating our lives. To our trans siblings around the world, you are not alone. We are in this together.”

More: Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, Stonewall, Trans, Trans day of Remembrance, trans murder, Trans Murder Monitoring, trans violence, trans women

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