Transgender people were murdered last month at a rate that is almost 50 percent higher than the murders of lesbian and gay people. From Canada to the United States to Central and South America, in the month of July alone, 23 transgender people and 16 gay men and lesbian women — a total of 39 people — were murdered, according to a study from the Organization of American States. The OAS represents all 35 countries of the American continent. In just the U.S., an estimated .3 percent of the total population openly identify as transgender, and 3.5 percent of American adults openly identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, with bisexual people making up 1.8 percent of that 3.5 percent, according to the Williams Institute.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the OAS issued a warning earlier this month, “reiterat[ing] its deep concern on violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual and intersex persons (LGTBI), and against persons perceived as such in the Americas.” The group “urges OAS Member States to adopt urgent measures to prevent this violence and discrimination. In particular, the Commission is concerned about the high levels of violence and discrimination faced by gay, lesbian and trans youth in the region.”
The IACHR added it “was informed that, during the month of July 2013, 23 murders were committed against trans persons and trans women or those perceived as such in Brazil (9), Colombia (2), Honduras (4), Jamaica (1), Mexico (2), Paraguay (1), Peru (2), the United States (1), and Venezuela (1). It is reported that most of these victims were less than 35 years of age, a majority of them being under 25.”
The report adds, “the majority of these victims were shot, most of them multiple times.”
Additionally, the IACHR was informed of 13 cases of murders of gay men of all ages in Brazil (8), Honduras (1), Mexico (1), Peru (2), and Venezuela (1), the vast majority of which were beaten to death. It also received information on the murders of three Brazilian lesbian women, two of them less than 25 years of age.
The report does not specify numbers for bisexual people.
In all likelihood, these numbers are just the tip of the iceberg.
“It is estimated that around the world five transgender people will be murdered every week,” Care 2 reported last year:
In 2012 alone there have been at least 265 trans people murdered, many of them in violent killings specifically motivated by anti-trans hate.
In many countries, including in the U.S., not all hate crime violence is reported or investigated as such.
To be clear, any murder is one murder too many. And it’s important to remember that each number represents a person. So when gays and lesbians outnumber transgender people about six to one, yet transgender people are being murdered at a rate that’s about 50 percent more than the murder rate for gays and lesbians, well, it’s beyond comprehension.
Hat tip: Buzzfeed
Image of transgender flag by torbakhopper via Flickr
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