320 trans people murdered worldwide this year according to annual report

LGBTQ
Vigil for Brianna Ghey

A total of 320 trans and gender diverse people were murdered globally over the past year, with most victims reported as trans women of colour, according to the findings of an annual study.

To coincide with Trans Day of Remembrance on 20 November, Transgender Europe (TGEU) released its tragic annual update of the Trans Murder Monitoring project, which aims to track the violent deaths of trans and gender diverse people worldwide. 

The report found that 320 trans people were murdered between 1 October 2022 and 30 September 2023, slightly lower than the previous year’s report of 327 murders. 

The organisation reported that 94 per cent of the reported victims were trans women or trans-feminine people, and almost half of murdered trans people globally were known to be sex workers. 

It added that 80 per cent of the reported murders concerned trans people affected by racism – a statistic up by 15 per cent from last year.

In Europe, 45 per cent of trans people murdered in the region in the past year were known to be migrants or refugees. 

Candles are set next to pictures of Brianna Ghey, a trans teen who was fatally stabbed, in a vigil
A vigil for Brianna Ghey, who was killed in the UK in February (Getty)

Farah Abdi, policy officer at TGEU, told PinkNews: “The data clearly shows the heightened vulnerability and risk faced by racialised transgender migrants and refugees. It highlights the intersectional struggles they encounter, as they navigate multiple forms of discrimination, violence, and exclusion.

“It underscores the urgent need for comprehensive support, protection, and advocacy for trans migrants and refugees, calling for a shift away from xenophobia and concerted efforts to address the systemic issues that contribute to their marginalisation and violence.”

The report explained that the majority of murder cases (235 cases) were reported in Latin America and the Caribbean, partly due to the “existence of established monitoring systems in these regions”, while Armenia, Belgium and Slovakia reported trans murders for the first time. 

TGEU explained that the horrific stats are only part of the full picture, with some trans people not identified as trans or gender diverse in reports of their deaths, leaving many potential additional cases unreported.

In a joint statement to PinkNews, TGEU, along with five other LGBTQ+ organisations, said: “The deaths that we mourn come about as a result of multiple intersecting issues: lack of hate crime legislation, or the failure to uphold such laws; lack of access to adequate basic healthcare, housing and job opportunities due to refusal, discrimination or financial barriers; and overall structural discrimination that enables societal neglect, abuse and harm towards trans and gender diverse people across the globe. 

“This is a day of tremendous grief. We have been commemorating Trans Day of Remembrance since 1999, when we united in grief to remember Rita Hester, a black trans woman who had been murdered. Despite our best efforts, 24 years later, the violence not only continues but has become intricately linked to global anti-rights efforts that are encouraging the eradication of trans and gender-diverse people.

“This year, we call on activists, policymakers, lawmakers, and donors to listen to our community and take urgent action to protect the lives of trans and gender-diverse people. It is our shared responsibility to create a world that protects trans lives.”

Queer people ‘heartbroken’ over trans deaths

The UK was rocked in February this year by the tragic death of 16-year-old trans student Brianna Ghey, who was stabbed in a park in Warrington.

The teen was described by her family as a “larger-than-life character” who was “beautiful, witty and hilarious”.

“The loss of her young life has left a massive hole in our family and we know that the teachers and her friends who were involved in her life will feel the same,” her family said in February.

Thousands of people took to the streets across the UK to attend vigils in the weeks following Brianna’s death, with the queer community and allies explaining that they were “heartbroken”.

Neil Hudson-Basing, who attended a February vigil in London, told PinkNews at the time: “The vigil was powerful but rage-inducing and emotional. Brianna should have got to experience her life and the trans joy she deserved – that all trans+ folk deserve.”

Another attendee at a Swansea vigil in February, Dee Llewellyn, told PinkNews at the time that she was “heartbroken and terrified by the horrific means by which [Brianna] lost her precious life”.

“We will remember Brianna, although most of us did not know her personally her name will fuel us all to continue to protect trans kids, always,” Llewellyn added. 

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.

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