According to the HRC, 2021 has now become the deadliest year on record for trans and non-binary people with 45 murders.The past two years have been hard on the LGBTQ community, especially for trans individuals and queer people of color. The pandemic created unique challenges for the LGBTQ community, often resulting in higher numbers of unemployment and poverty. In 2021, the new wave of anti-trans bills across the nation has incited a rash of hatred and fear of the trans community, leading to increased violence against them.
In a statement, the HRC stated “This year, the transgender community has faced the twin threats of an unprecedented number of anti-transgender bills in state legislatures (ten states so far have passed anti-transgender legislation) as well as a resurgence of stigmatizing and demeaning rhetoric from cultural, social, and political figures domestically and internationally. Recent data shows that public opinion and attitudes about transgender and gender non-conforming people have direct impacts on rates of violence against these communities.”
However, according to GLAAD, there are ways to fight back against anti-trans bigotry and violence. They list six ways you can help further transgender equality:
1. Look at your favorite organization’s policies and ensure that transgender people are welcome to join your country club, your work union or your book group.
2. Volunteer to help get a transgender-supportive candidate elected.
3. Ask your local film festival to include films inclusive of transgender issues.
4. Work to pass a non-discrimination policy in your workplace. Slightly less than one-third of Americans live in a jurisdiction with laws that ban employment discrimination based on gender identity and expression.
5. Submit an op-ed to your local paper about the transgender community. This is an effective way to express opinions and distribute information on transgender issues from a variety of voices.
6. Plan or attend a Day of Remembrance Event every November 20. This is a yearly opportunity to remember those lost to hate-motivated violence directed towards the transgender community, and also a time to encourage people to take action to make the world safer.
For larger issues that need to be handled in the realm of the law or politics, think about supporting various LGBTQ nonprofits with your time or a financial contribution. Excellent organizations working to help trans people include Lambda Legal and National Center for Transgender Equality.
If you’re a trans person in need of a safe space or someone to speak to, call the free Trans Lifeline.