More about Transgender Murder Statistics
I love America because, as we used to say when I was a kid, "it's a free country." We are free to live our lives as we choose--as long as what we choose doesn't harm other people. We also are free to think what we wish. There are no "thought police" yet. We are free to express our opinions (within limits).
Statistics aren't opinions, though. Statistics are the mathematical analyses of data. And data are facts. When we cite statistics to support our opinions, we should do so responsibly--making every effort to be sure the data we cite are real and the statistics based on those data are properly calculated.
In academic writing (as opposed to blogging and journalism) we are required (by peer reviewers) to cite our sources specifically and accurately. It is improper to refer to vague, general "recent studies" or "one source." Journalists can claim to have confidential sources, I suppose, but it really doesn't seem right to me to have confidential statistical sources.
I can't find any "recent study" that says that "1 in 12 transgender persons is murdered." I can find a transgender activist who has made an honest effort to collect transgender murder statistics, but even she admits that data are hard to come by because there is really no way to know how many transgender persons there are or to identify all murder victims who are transgender. A Florida woman named LeAnna Bradley and an organization called Stop Hate Now cite 321 such murders worldwide between 1970 and 2004 (34 years).
On the other hand, someone has claimed that Kay Brown, instructor for “20th Century Transgender History and Experience” at the Harvey Milk Institute in San Francisco, Washington Blade, Dec. 10, 1999, is the source of the "1 in 12" statistic. But if you Google the Brown article, you can't find any such statistic in the article (at least I couldn't).
Let's think about this a minute. What is the value of inventing or inflating statistics about a very highly-emotionally-charged issue? Frankly, it fans the flames of irrationality. No one benefits from this.