By Susan Payne
The Human Rights Campaign remembers and honors the life of Cherry Bush, a transgender woman who was killed on July 5 after being targeted based on her perceived gender identity.
This is one of at least 22 murders of a transgender or non-conforming person in 2022, unconfirmed due to misreporting or lack of reporting, HRC stated in a news article that honors Bush.
“Cherry Bush should still be with us today. She was a transgender woman who was targeted, shot and killed for simply existing,” said Tori Cooper, HRC campaign director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. “Every day, transgender people are targeted and ridiculed just for living our lives. Ongoing stigma and ugly anti-transgender rhetoric contribute to the violence we face nationwide. We must do more to protect transgender lives and stand up against discrimination in all its forms. We are fellow human beings worthy of respect and dignity, no matter one’s current position in life.”
In Bush’s death, a suspect has been arrested and charged with one count of murder, attempted murder and a hate crime allegation, according to the LA County District Attorney.
HRC published a number of statistics in response to Bush’s death regarding crime and laws that disproportionately impact transgender people:
- Using data from 2016-19, a UCLA study found that over 8% of transgender adults had experienced homelessness at least once in the previous year, more than six times that of cisgender/straight adults (1.4%).
- Project Thrive found that over 22% of transgender high school students were “usually sleeping somewhere that is not the home of their parent or guardian,” compared to 3% of non-LGBTQ+ youth.
- In 2021, an HRC study found that transgender women earned 60 cents for every dollar earned by the average American worker, about $21,000 less per year than the median American salary.
- The Transgender Homicide Tracker found that three-fourths of confirmed homicides between 2017-22 involved a gun, and that Black transgender women account for 73% of all transgender gun homicide victims.
- An HRC study found that three-quarters of all known transgender victims have been misgendered by the media and/or law enforcement.
- More than 270 anti-LGBTQ+ bills are under consideration nationwide with more than 110 of those bills directly targeting transgender people.
“We must demand better from our elected officials and reject harmful anti-transgender legislation at the local, state and federal levels, while also considering every possible way to make ending this violence a reality,” HRC stated. “It is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, especially Black transgender women. The intersections of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia and homophobia conspire to deprive them of necessities to live and thrive, so we must all work together to cultivate acceptance, reject hate and end stigma for everyone in the trans and gender non-conforming community.”