Life is busy for all of us, so you might have missed that this week is Trans Awareness Week. No worries, the Daily Citizen wouldn’t let it pass without drawing your attention. And the week caps off with Friday, Nov 20 as Transgender Day of Remembrance, or TDOR for those in the know. What are we being called to remember? It’s not about trying to recall if you are actually a biological man or woman. Rather, it’s to be aware of the so-called “epidemic” of trans people who have reportedly been killed by the intolerant among us. In fact, NBC News has joined the campaign and informs us that crime against trans people has reached an all-time high of late.
The Biden-Harris team has officially declared they “believe that Trans Lives Matter” and “violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people, particularly Black and Brown transgender women, is an epidemic that needs national leadership.” They say this is unacceptable and are correct to do so.
Violence against anyone is unacceptable, so such reports are truly disturbing. But we must ask, are they true? Is there an “epidemic” of murder against transgender individuals? So-called fact-checkers in the mainstream media say there is. But sources matter though. The “fact-checkers” at ABC News who checked Biden’s claim didn’t really check the facts themselves. They simply checked in with one major LGBT activist organization – the Human Rights Campaign – likely the very source of the candidate’s own talking points. Hardly a fact check.
But what do other analysts who have carefully studied the numbers, those who are not activists, have to say on the matter?
When The New York Times declared trans killings were at “epidemic” proportions late last year, Wilfred Reilly, an Associate Professor of Political Science at Kentucky State University, an expert on empirically testing political claims, and the author of a book on hate-crimes, examined the topic, publishing his findings at Quillette.
He explains that for all the attention the subject receives in the press, “However, there is remarkably little evidence that transgender Americans are killed at an unusually high rate.” In fact, he demonstrates that data shows the precise opposite. Trans people are killed at much lower numbers than the average American and seldom for actually being trans.
First, Professor Reilly found the conclusion that these murders are actually hate-crimes is certainly not as clear as the mainstream media and activists at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) claim. He explains, “most murders of trans persons are same-race domestic or personal disputes, not hate crimes.” In fact, as an African-American man himself, he says “the transgender murder rate is far lower than the murder rates for African Americans, poor Americans of all races, and “men” in general.” In fact, Professor Reilly specifically holds that the murder rate of African Americans is “almost 13 times the allegedly ‘epidemic’ transgender murder rate.”
He then explains that the HRC’s own data “indicate that the trans murder rate is significantly lower than the murder rate for Americans overall.” Reilly shows his careful math in his article, indicating the trans murder rate is actually “about one-fourth of the actual current murder rate” for everyone in the U.S. Hence, HRC is actually reporting that trans people are indeed, on average, much safer on the street today than the rest of us. Reilly elaborates on precisely how safe trans people are today in America, “the fact is that the murder rate for trans people would have to increase by 300-400 percent to match the murder rate for the general population.”
Similarly, Chad Green, who identifies with the LGBT community and is a senior contributor at The Federalist, gave these claims a very careful analysis as well and explains that “hate” is seldom the real motivation in murders of people who happen to be transgender. He demonstrates that the overwhelming number of them stem from either some unknown motivation or are incidents involving either domestic violence or prostitution. Green states that “after reviewing the 118 cases with all available information, four appear to have been directly anti-trans-motivated.” All other murders were unrelated to the victim’s gender status. Of these four, two involved sexual negotiations and the perpetrator discovered the victim was the opposite of his sexual intentions. One of these victims was stabbed 119 times, so yes, that is a lot of hate indeed. The other two were killed (both shot) because they were trans.
Dr. Reilly discovered much the same thing, that trans hatred was rarely a motivator in such killings. He holds that not only are trans murder rates not anywhere close to “epidemic” levels, “it’s also not true that most trans murders are motivated by ‘hate.’” The media and left-leaning politicians have made much of black men who believe they are women being the most numerous victims. Reilly finds that nearly all murders of trans Black people were committed by Black perpetrators while white trans people were also killed by white perpetrators. Dr. Reilly concludes,
The truth is there is no epidemic of transgender murders. The recorded transgender murder rate is 1/3 or less of the overall murder rate for all American citizens and legal residents. Further, when such murders do occur, few are motivated by hatred and roughly 80 percent are same-race killings. These statements are not “arguments” or “allegations” but simply declarations of factual truth.
So, we can all celebrate Trans Awareness Week this year knowing that the numbers indicate our trans neighbors are dramatically less likely to come harm than the rest of us. Be aware of that and don’t buy the fiction of a trans-murder epidemic.
Photo from Shutterstock