Photo: Human Rights Campaign

Brianna Hamilton has tragically become the 37th transgender or gender non-conforming person killed in America this year.

Content warning: This story may include topics that could make some readers feel uncomfortable.

At the age of just 25-years-old, Hamilton was fatally shot and killed in Chicago, Illinois on 17 September.

Her death was confirmed by LaSaia Wade of Brave Space Alliance on social media, writing “rest in power my luv.”

“Brianna was loved by many,” her mother wrote about her “amazing” daughter.

She added that Brianna was an “amazing person who touched so many people’s hearts with her presence and her memory will forever live on.”

Her passing marks the 37th confirmed violent death of a transgender or gender non-conforming person this year alone, as well as being the fourth in Chicago.

The actual number is expected to be far higher, as many of these deaths go unreported and/or misreported.

Tori Cooper, Director of Community Engagement for the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Transgender Justice Initiative, said: “Hamilton’s death marks the second killing of a Black trans woman in Chicago during the past month and the fourth this year. Black trans lives matter, and we need urgent action to end this epidemic of violence.”

As is often the case with deaths of transgender or gender non-conforming people, Hamilton was misgendered and deadnamed by many outlets reporting on what happened to her.

HRC tracked violent fatal incidents against transgender and gender non-conforming people throughout 2020, with the year being the most violent since records began in 2013 due to a total of 44 fatalities.

This year is currently on track for 53 anti-trans homicides by the end of December, meaning it would surpass 2020 as the most violent on record if this number is reached.

According to a 2020 report from HRC, over 10,000 hate crimes in America involve a firearm each year – equating to more than 28 per day.

Resources for trans and non-binary people can be found on the Terrence Higgins Trust website by clicking here.