Unerased: New Resource on Trans Murders

Mic has introduced a new resource for tracking the murders of trans people. It includes murders in the US since 2010, only, but it does a little more digging into the statistics and how transness is “negotiated” not just by the reporting of these crimes but also by their representation in obituaries, the press, court cases, etc.

The actual database includes not just numbers but faces, info on rulings (if there is one), and can be filtered for year, age, race, gender, circumstances of death, and outcome.

The occasional pullquotes throughout are sobering, like this one: “People who kill black trans women and femmes are usually convicted of lesser charges than those who kill people of other trans identities.

And this, from Shannon Minter: “Other factors contribute to underreporting. Minter said that while murders of trans women are visible and documented to some extent, those of transgender men may be harder to track. ‘I also think there’s a lot of unreported violence against transgender men that gets recorded just as violence against women,’ he said.”

And all of this is far more troublesome because the statistics are already so high, and yet:

But it’s difficult to know the full scale of the problem. When a transgender person is killed, each step in the process of accounting for their death risks erasing that person’s gender identity. Many can’t spare the expense of having their names and gender markers updated on government documents. Law enforcement and coroner’s offices are not trained to identify transgender victims. Immediate family members who reject a trans person’s identity often withhold it from authorities. When the press learns of these murders, local reporters often don’t have the knowledge or information to investigate whether the victims were trans. The United States Census does not track transgender people, and while the FBI added gender identity as a category in its annual self-reported hate crimes report in 2014, the agency does not track gender identity along with its homicide statistics.

Please take care of each other out there.

Helen Boyd

is the author of My Husband Betty and She's Not the Man I Married.

One Comment

  1. Thank you for shedding light on this important resource. Our work for the safety of our loved ones is never, never done.

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