Trans Day of Remembrance: Alarming trends in global transphobic violence


 320 trans people were reported murdered around the globe in the last year, but this is just the tip of the iceberg

In observance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20, TGEU (Transgender Europe) has released the annual update of its Trans Murder Monitoring research project.

This initiative tracks murders of trans and gender diverse individuals worldwide, highlighting the grim reality of transphobic violence.

Between October 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023, TGEU reported a distressing total of 320 murders of trans and gender diverse people.

This number closely mirrors the 327 cases reported in the previous year, underscoring the persistent and consistently high levels of deadly violence against trans individuals.

Latin America and the Caribbean report the highest number of murders, accounting for 235 cases. Disturbingly, new cases emerged in Armenia, Belgium, and Slovakia this year for the first time.

Africa reported one murder in Uganda, where the unnamed victim suffered fatal traumatic brain injury complications following police brutality during a raid and detention in December 2022.

Insights from Trans Murder Monitoring 2023

  • 94% of victims were trans women or trans feminine individuals.
  • The age group with the most murder victims was 19 to 25 years old.
  • Almost half (48%) of the murdered trans individuals whose occupation is known were sex workers.
  • 45% of trans people reported murdered in Europe, with known migration backgrounds, were migrants or refugees.
  • Trans people affected by racism make up 80% of the reported murders, marking a 15% increase from the previous year.
  • Latin America and the Caribbean accounted for almost three-quarters (73%) of all recorded murders. Brazil alone contributed to nearly one-third (31%) of the total.
  • Almost half of the reported murders (46%) involved shootings.
  • 28% of the recorded murders occurred on the street, and an additional 26% in the victim’s own residence.

Intersectionality and Underreporting

TGEU said that the data emphasises concerning intersections of misogyny, racism, xenophobia, and whorephobia. Most victims were Black and trans women of color, often engaged in sex work.

However, these figures only scratch the surface of the harsh reality. Many cases globally go unreported, and those that are reported receive inadequate attention.

The Trans Murder Monitoring data underscores the need to understand these figures within the specific social, political, economic, and historical contexts in which they occur.

While Latin America and the Caribbean report higher numbers due to established monitoring systems, the global situation demands increased awareness and action to combat transphobic violence.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is observed annually as a day to remember those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia. It aims to draw attention to the continued violence directed towards transgender people.

The day was founded in 1999 to memorialise the murder of Black transgender women Rita Hester in Allston, Massachusetts and Chanelle Pickett in Watertown, Massachusetts.

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