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Trans Murders Are Continuing Into 2020

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According to data from the FBI, nearly one in five hate crimes in the U.S. are motivated by anti-LGBTQ bias. Of that number, 60 percent targeted gay men. Transgender women of color were most likely to be murdered as part of a hate crime.

Additional research released by Transrespect versus Transphobia, a project of Transgender Europe, shows that over 330 trans and nonbinary people were killed across the globe in 2019 alone. An overwhelming plurality of reported trans murders happened in Brazil, totaling 130, while Mexico had 63, the United States had 30, the United Kingdom had one, and nine were killed across Europe.

As 2020 begins, hate-crime deaths have not diminished. Here are a few: 

Nikki Kuhnhausen

The body of 17-year-old Nikki Kuhnhausen was found in December near Larch Mountain near her home in Vancouver, Wash. The trans teen had been missing since June. David Bogdanov, 25, was charged with her murder in January, and he will soon face hate-crime charges in court. 

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Kevin Bacon

A Michigan hairstylist and college student, Kevin Bacon, was found murdered and mutilated four days after going missing on Christmas Eve. The gregarious 25-year-old had left that night for a Grindr meet-up with 50-year-old Mark Latunski, who has admitted to killing and cannibalizing Bacon. Latunski’s estranged husband told reporters that the killer was struggling with untreated mental illness.

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Julie Berman

Toronto-based trans activist Julie Berman, 51, was a dedicated member of the transgender rights group The 519 and had delivered a memorable speech at a 2017 Trans Day of Remembrance event. In late December, she died as a result of head injuries incurred in an assault. Toronto police have charged Colin Harnack, 29, with second-degree murder.

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Dustin Parker

In January, the body of 25-year-old Dustin Parker, a trans man who worked as a taxi driver in McAlester, Okla., was found in the driver’s seat of his cab with several gunshot wounds. Parker was a founding member of the McAlester chapter of Oklahomans for Equality, an LGBTQ rights group.

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If you or someone you know has experienced anti-LGBTQ violence, contact the Anti-Violence Project by calling its 24-hour free and confidential hotline at
(212) 714-1141, or visit AVP.org.

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