Things That Matter

2021 Is Set To Be The Deadliest Year Ever For The Trans Community As Yet Another Trans Woman Is Murdered

LGBTQ+ activists say that violence against the transgender community in 2021 is outpacing last year’s record number of anti-trans homicides. Few communities are facing a crisis of life and death as severe as the country’s transgender community. It’s only March and there have already been at least nine transgender victims so far this year, which is more than during the same period in 2020 which was the deadliest year on record for the community. 

The nation’s trans community is under attack.

According to the National Black Justice Coalition, at least four times more trans people have been killed this year than by the same point in 2020. By the end of last February, two trans people had been murdered in the United States. In contrast, at least eight individuals have already lost their lives in 2021, with five murders in January alone.

The National Black Justice Coalition, a national LGBTQ+ civil rights group that tracks anti-trans violence, said the above total may not even reflect the total number of trans homicides in 2021.

“We live in a society that ranks human value according to a hierarchy of bodies and identities, where disposability radiates outward as a person’s distance from the hegemonic ideal increases,” NBJC Executive Director David Johns told them., adding that these victims were “targeted because their identities place them far away from privilege and the social structures that uphold this complex, compound oppression and ultimately place them in disproportionate danger.”

2021 is set to be the deadliest year on record if the violence doesn’t end. 

Should the year continue at its current pace, advocates worry that 2021 would far surpass last year’s historic level of anti-trans homicides. Forty-four transgender people lost their lives to violence in 2020, but these early totals put the United States on track for an astounding 176 murders. That total is unlikely when no year prior to 2020 had seen more than 30 recorded trans homicides, per Human Rights Campaign data. But even if the next 10 months averaged four murders each month, 2021 would still become the deadliest year on record for anti-trans violence, counting 48 deaths.

Neither of these figures factor in deaths that are believed by local community members to be homicides but not officially declared as such, like the mysterious passing of 19-year-old Tatianna Hall in Philadelphia last year.

Whatever the end total may be, HRC’s Tori Cooper claims that the community has “already lost too many transgender people to fatal violence” this year.

The latest victim is Chyna Carrilo who was killed in Pennsylvania last month.

Chyna Carrillo, 24, a trans Latinx woman, was murdered in Wilmington, Pennsylvania in February. According to a report in the New Castle News, Carrillo was brutally beaten to death with a blunt object by Juan Carter Hernandez, 33, a military deserter recently released from prison where he was serving eight to 10 years for the murder of his wife in 2011. 

Carrillo, who was also known as Chyna Cardena had recently moved to New Wilmington from Arkansas with the hope of starting a new life. She was employed as a certified nursing assistant at The Grove at New Wilmington, a skilled nursing facility. Her murder took place in a house next to the Grove.

Friends and family have been left devastated by the news. All remember her as a warm and outgoing woman who touched their lives and will be sorely missed.

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