Trans people face ‘epidemic of violence,’ American Medical Association warns

A transmasculine person checking his watch in a park

The American Medical Association has warned that violence against transgender people is rising in the US.

The medical body issued a warning about an “epidemic of violence against the transgender community, especially the amplified physical dangers faced by transgender people of colour.”

American Medical Association: Anti-trans violence has public health impact

American Medical Association board member Dr. S. Bobby Mukkamala said: “According to available tracking, fatal anti-transgender violence in the U.S. is on the rise and most victims were black transgender women.

“The number of victims could be even higher due to under reporting, and better data collection by law enforcement is needed to create strategies that will prevent anti-transgender violence.”

 American Medical Association: Transgender people take part in a candle light vigil on the Transgender Day of Remembrance in Bangalore on November 20, 2015.

Transgender people take part in a candle light vigil on the Transgender Day of Remembrance in Bangalore on November 20, 2015. (MANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty)

The body warns that “the physical risks faced by transgender individuals can have long and short-term negative impacts on the physical and mental health of these individuals, survivors, their communities, and the nation as a whole.”

A resolution was backed at the AMA’s annual House of Delegates meeting earlier in June raising concerns about a spate of anti-trans violence.

Trans women of colour are most likely to face violence

The resolution notes: “Since 2013, at least 128 transgender women, transgender men, and non-binary people (people whose gender is not male or female) have been killed across 32 states and 87 cities in the US.

“In 2017, there were 29 homicides of transgender people in the US reported in the media, the highest number ever recorded, in addition to many more that were not publicly known

“In 2018, advocates tracked at least 226 deaths of transgender people in the US due to fatal violence, 82 percent of whom were transgender women of colour and 73 percent of whom were Black transgender women.”

The body has backed calls for a central law enforcement database to collect data on reported hate crimes, and has also called for stronger law enforcement policies regarding interactions with transgender individuals in order to prevent bias and mistreatment.

Police in Dallas this month arrested a suspected serial killer who has been charged with the murder of black transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker and two other victims.

Kendrell Lavar Lyles is also a person of interest in the death of another black trans woman, Chynal Lindsey.