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White House Remembrance Day: A Look at the Astonishingly Low Transgender Homicide Rate

The commemoration of this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance at the White House failed to acknowledge the fact that transgender Americans are less likely to be victims of homicide compared to the average U.S. citizen.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, 26 transgender people have been killed so far in 2023. In a population of about 2.6 million transgender individuals, this places the homicide rate at one death per every 100,000 people, which is lower than the overall U.S. homicide rate of 7.8 deaths per 100,000.

Conservative critics have raised concerns about the focus on transgender deaths, accusing the White House and LGBTQ advocates of exaggerating the issue for political gain.

Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson labeled the violence against transgender and gender non-conforming individuals as a national embarrassment and linked the deaths to the rise in transgender-related state legislation.

The HRC report also found that 33 transgender Americans have been killed since the release of the 2022 report. However, despite an increase in hateful and violent rhetoric, 2023 is on track to see a decline in transgender homicides.

The report listed 41 transgender homicides in 2022, 59 in 2021, 45 in 2020, and 30 in 2019. It’s important to note that the reports only include deaths caused by others, excluding suicides. Additionally, not all of the deaths were murders, and some appear unrelated to the victim’s transgender status.

For instance, Manuel Esteban Paez Teran, known as “Tortuguita,” was shot and killed by Atlanta police during a raid of the “Cop City” protest compounds after firing on officers. DeVonnie J’Rae Johnson was shot and killed by a security guard at a grocery store in Hollywood after attacking him with a screwdriver.

President Biden called the number of transgender deaths “unacceptable” and emphasized his administration’s commitment to protecting the safety of transgender and all LGBTQI+ Americans.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized that the victims are disproportionately black women and women of color and reiterated that no one should face violence or discrimination for being themselves.

Critics on the right, including Daily Wire podcaster Matt Walsh, argue that the left implies every trans murder is a hate crime when many are related to domestic, drug, and prostitution issues. However, the low number of transgender homicides has been pointed out by others, including Wilfred Reilly, who compared the rate to other demographic murder rates.

Despite the concerns raised, the HRC report also mentioned the increase in gender identity-motivated hate crimes, making up 4% of all hate crimes. The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that transgender people were four times more likely to be victims of violent crime based on 2017-18 data.

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