We Must Stop the Violence and Stigma Against the Transgender Community

On February 26, Cashay Henderson was found dead with a gunshot wound after a fire in a Milwaukee apartment building. Police are treating it as a homicide.  Cashay’s death adds to the growing list of Black transgender woman murdered in Milwaukee, and marks at least the sixth violent killing in the U.S. of a transgender or non-conforming person so far in 2023. We say “at least” because too often these deaths go unreported — or misreported.

Trans people face a dangerous and difficult reality. They’re more than four times more likely than cisgender people to be victims of violent crimes, per the Williams Institute, UCLA Law’s LGBTQ policy think tank. Tragically, interpersonal violence accounts for a significant number of fatalities against transgender and gender non-conforming people. A report by the HRC Foundation, “An Epidemic of Violence: Fatal Violence Against Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People in the United States in 2022 found that between 2013 and 2022, approximately one third (29%) of transgender and gender non-conforming people with known killers had their lives taken by an acquaintance, friend, family member or intimate partner. Further, 84% of violence against the transgender community is targeted toward trans people of color, specifically trans women.

Transgender people are being targeted and ridiculed for simply wanting to live their lives. We believe the heightened stigma and epidemic in violence mirrors a rise in controversial political rhetoric around LGBTQ+ issues. More must be done to protect everyone in the trans and gender non-conforming community. We must demand better from our elected officials and reject harmful anti-LGBTQ+ legislation at the local, state and federal levels.

At Vivent Health, we value all people regardless of the color of their skin, whom they love, where they live, their gender identity or how much money they have. We welcome, embrace, and learn from diverse perspectives to best care for our patients and clients, support our employees, improve the communities we serve, and advance social justice and health equity.

Join us in the fight to reject hate and end discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community. Stop the stigma.