Joe Biden’s administration has recommitted itself to tackling the “devastating” violence against the transgender community.
The Human Rights Campaign (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.
However, this has now been surpassed by 2021 because of 28-year-old Marquiisha Lawrence’s tragic death – with the actual number expected to be far higher as these stories often go misreported or unreported entirely.
“With 45 recorded deaths, we’ve reached yet another tragic milestone this year,” a statement from Tori Cooper, HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative said. “Marquiisha was clearly loved by so many.. She deserved to live, but her life was stolen from us far too soon.”
Cooper continued: “We must commit to honoring trans lives and ending the horrific epidemic of violence that plagues our community. Marquiisha deserved nothing less than our full commitment to building a better future for trans people.”
During his presidential campaign, Biden frequently spoke out against anti-trans discrimination and promised to address it should he win the election.
“The fastest way to end it is to end the Trump administration,” he previously said at an HRC event.
Reporter asks Psaki about "Transgender Day of Remembrance" and whether the president has been briefed on violence against the transgender community: pic.twitter.com/NxpdkfuraA
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 12, 2021
In a press briefing on 12 November, Biden’s Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, was asked by Chris Johnson, the Washington Blade’s White House reporter, if the President had been briefed on 2021 becoming the deadliest year on record for trans and gender non-conforming people in the United States.
“I’m not sure, Chris, and I’m happy to ask the President and see with our Domestic Policy team if they have briefed him on that,” Psaki explained.
“That’s devastating and that’s terrible, heartbreaking to hear,” she continued. “It is a commitment of the President to address violence, address threats to transgender people and anyone who’s facing those threats but I will see if he has been briefed.”
The White House Domestic Policy Council, which is led by Ambassador Susan Rice, has not yet issued a statement on Psaki’s comments at the briefing.
Although President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have been working towards the “most pro-equality administration in history,” there have been several anti-trans laws implemented across America this year – such as the Texas House of Representatives passing a bill that bans transgender women and girls from participating in female school sports.