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The number of trans people killed in the United States has hit an all-time high. 2020 isn’t over.

Activists unfurled a 150-foot trans flag on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to protest the Trump administration's attacks on transgender people.
Activists unfurled a 150-foot trans flag on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to protest the Trump administration's attacks on transgender people.Photo: National Center for Transgender Equality/Twitter

This year is the deadliest year on record for transgender and gender non-conforming people, with 32 individuals killed thus far. The previous record was 2017 with 31 known deaths.

The number of murdered trans and gender non-conforming people is likely much higher since many killings go unreported or their victims are misgendered by police and medical authorities. A majority of those murdered are Black trans women of color followed by Latina transwomen, though transmen and non-binary people are among them as well.

Related: 14 countries ban being transgender. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In a statement, Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David said, “Dehumanizing rhetoric, especially by political leaders like President Trump, has a real-life consequence for the community, particularly transgender women of color and especially Black transgender women.”

“As the presidential campaign has hit its crescendo, so too has the attacks coming from Trump, his administration and his allies,” David continued. “They have spent millions on ads spewing hate and lies about the transgender and gender non-conforming community, and have attacked their right to health care, right to serve and right to live —openly dehumanizing and denying them the dignity they deserve at every opportunity.”

“Every life has value,” he concluded, “and we must utilize this moment to not only remember … each and every one of the people killed this year, but take action and work to dismantle this culture of violence and stigma that the transgender and gender non-conforming community faces. Our community’s lives are on the line, and we must commit with every breath to fight for the change we need.”

The people on the list include Dustin Parker, a 25-year-old taxi driver found shot to death in his car in McAlester, Oklahoma on January 1; Neulisa “Alexa” Luciano Ruiz, a Puerto Rican trans woman murdered in February after people harassed her for using a McDonald’s restroom;  Monica Diamond, a trans woman brutally gunned down in front of police while receiving treatment in an ambulance; Yampi Méndez Arocho, a 19-year-old transgender man shot to death in a local park in March; Johanna Metzger, a trans woman found stabbed to death in Baltimore, Maryland in April.

There’s also Johanna Metzger, found stabbed to death in Baltimore on in April; Layla Peláez and Serena Angelique Velázquez Ramos, two trans women found burned to death inside of a charred car; Penélope Díaz Ramírez, another trans Puerto Rican woman murdered in April; Nina Pop, a 28-year-old trans woman found stabbed to death in her Sikeston, Missouri apartment on May 3; Helle Jae O’Regan, a 20-year-old trans woman stabbed to death in the barbershop where she worked in May; Tony McDade, a 38-year-old trans man killed by police while exiting his car in May.

Also on the list are Dominique Rem’mie Fells and Riah Milton: Fells had stab wounds, facial and cranial trauma, and both legs severed at the thigh while Milton was shot to death in a park; Jayne Thompson, a Black trans woman shot to death by a Colorado State Patrol trooper; Selena Reyes-Hernandez, shot to death by an 18-year-old after she came out to him as trans; Brayla Stone, a Black trans woman found dead on a walking path in Arkansas; Merci Mack, a Black trans woman found shot to death in a Dallas parking lot; Bree Black, Shakie Peters, and Dawn Manson, the first two Black trans women were murdered and the last went missing.

There is also Summer Taylor, a gender non-binary person hit by a car during a Seattle Black Lives Matter protest; Marilyn Cazares, a Latina trans woman found dead in a California house fire in California; Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears, a Black trans woman who was stabbed to death at a vigil for another murder victim; Aerrion Burnett, a  Black trans woman found shot to death two days before her 38th birthday; Mia Green, a 29 trans woman who died after being shot in the neck; Felycya Harris, a 33-year-old trans interior designer found shot to death in an Augusta, Georgia park.

Seven other individuals on the list include Tiffany Harris (aka. Dior H Ova), a Black trans woman stabbed to death in a Bronx apartment building; Lexi, a 33-year-old transgender woman stabbed to death in Harlem River Park; Brian Powers, a 43-year old Black trans person killed in Akron, Ohio; Queasha D Hardy, a 22-year old Black hairdresser killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Kee Sam, a Black transgender woman killed in Lafeyette, Louisiana; Michelle Michellyn Ramos Vargas, a trans Puerto Rican killed in the town of San Germán; and Brooklyn Deshuna, a Black trans woman, killed in Shreveport, Louisiana.

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