The North Carolina chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement responding to reports that at least two trans women – Jaida Peterson, who was Black, and a woman whose name has not yet been released – have been shot and killed in recent weeks in Charlotte.
“Trans people have been targeted over and over again in this country – by lawmakers passing policies that reject their lives, and by hate-fueled people, too often armed with guns, who end their lives,” said Grace McLain, a volunteer with the North Carolina chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our hearts are with the families and communities of the women shot and killed, and we all must do more to end the plague of gun violence – a plague which repeatedly targets trans people.”
These two women are at least the 14th reported trans people killed in 2021, although it’s likely there have been more deaths that have gone unreported or victims have been misgendered. Since 2017, North Carolina has seen eight homicides of trans people – the 6th most in the country. Six of these homicides were of trans women in Charlotte, at least five of whom were Black.
Last year was the deadliest year on record for trans and gender nonconforming people in the U.S., after 36 people were shot and killed. Some trends from 2017 to 2020 that are likely to continue:
- Guns are the most frequently used weapon in the murder of trans people. Three-fourths of trans people killed in America were killed with a gun.
- Black trans women account for the majority of homicide victims in the trans community. To put this into perspective, while Black people make up 16% of the trans population, 75% of known trans homicide victims between 2017 and 2020 were Black.
Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund has tracked homicides of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the U.S since 2017. In addition to breaking down gun violence to the state- and county-level, the platform includes a database of known trans or gender nonconforming homicide victims in the United States. As the numbers show, violence against the trans community is inherently linked to guns, and 2020 was the deadliest year on record.