The numbers for trans violence are often completely unknown even to those who are active in the fight to lower those numbers. In 2020, reported numbers vary between four and five hundred deaths. However, we also know that this cannot account for all transgender individuals who died violently or as a result of cultural and social stigma.
Transgender Day of Rememberance was originally created to celebrate the lives of those who have suffered violent deaths as a direct result of transphobia. This has given rise to a number of discussions of what names we say and why. A few keys areas that deserve to be highlighted are left out:
In general, suicides are not reported. This is both because of journalism ethics as well as a lack of reporting in general. Suicide among transgender populations is a systemic epidemic, but because so few suicides are actually reported and even when they are people are often misgendered and deadnamed, we do not include these names on our list. Please consider learning more about groups that focus on this specific issue, such as Trans Lifeline, to learn more and continue to fight to prevent suicide among vulnerable populations.
Transgender individuals have long faced high levels of hostility, neglect, and malpractice in medical settings. This issue is twofold; transgender individuals often face barriers to healthcare and often turn to illegal or untested treatments. The pandemic has further complicated this issue; there are inherent barriers for transgender individuals in direct relation to Covid-19. However, these numbers are nearly impossible to pin down and as such those deaths resulting from medical complications have not been included.
Reporting Data Discrepancies
Not all nations report the numbers: Groups like Human Rights Campaign, Trans Lives Matter, Trans Murder Monitoring, and the orginal blog of Gwendolyn Smith do an amazing job of gathering names of the deceased, especially as media and family are actively misgendering the victims. However, while we have excellent reporting in some areas of the world, we see grave underreporting elsewhere. Although there were nearly 200 reported deaths in Brazil, where there is an epidemic of trans deaths, there are no numbers out of nations such as Russia, China, or entire regions such as Africa and the Middle East. Therefore, we encourage you to participate in the work these groups are doing and say as many of these names as you can, while also recognizing the work that needs to be done on a global level. Please consider donating your most valuable resources – your time and your money – to any of the several worthy organizations listed here.