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Trans Lives Lost 2020
Violence against transgender Americans continues at epidemic proportions, and 2020 has become the deadliest year on record since The Advocate and activist groups began tracking homicides several years ago. There have been at least 44 homicides of trans and nonbinary people in the U.S. so far in 2020, surpassing the number (21) for all of 2019 and the previous record of 31 set in 2017, and most of the victims have been Black or Latinx women. The figures for any year probably represent undercounts, given that many trans people are misgendered in death by police or media, or their deaths not reported at all. Media Matters, for instance, reports that media outlets have misidentified two-thirds of trans homicide victims this year. But there does seem to be increased reporting of the deaths of transgender people. In a year that has put a focus on police violence, the issue has figured in the trans community as well; at least two of the victims whose stories are chronicled here were killed by police.
Since assembling this gallery, The Advocate has learned of the homicides of two more members of this community. Gender-nonconforming youth Jaheim Pugh Jaheim Barbie, 19, was shot to death at a Christmas party in Prichard, Ala., December 13, while trans woman Courtney "Eshay" Key was fatally shot December 25 in Chicago. Both were Black, and both of their families suspect they were killed because of their gender identity. The gallery will be updated soon.
Read about the others we've lost on the following pages.
Pictured, from left: Merci Mack, Tony McDade, and Brayla Stone