Killings of transgender people in the US saw another high year

(CNN)For decades, every year she's been active in the transgender community, Isa Noyola has attended a funeral for a friend.

As deputy director at the Transgender Law Center based in Oakland, California, she has met many community members who have the same experience. "Death, profound loss, the violence that surrounds us, it's constant. It's a significant part of my transgender experience."
Despite an all-time high in trans-visibility, with celebrities such as Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox now mainstream media stars, violence against the community is getting worse, community advocates say.
Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, 42, one of the founders of the Miss Trans America pageant, is thought to be the first transgender person killed in 2018.
"You have this incredible pivotal moment of media visibility with pop culture, but it comes without education and deeper learning about the transgender community," Noyola said. "Too many places remain unsafe."
    More than two dozen transgender people were killed last year, according to information gathered by CNN, the New York City Anti-Violence Project and the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ civil rights advocacy group.
    Amia Tyrae Berryman, 28, was killed in Baton Rouge in March. Friends on social media said she worked in home health care and had a "big heart."
    It's impossible to know an exact count. Federal statistics are limited. There's also "serious under-reporting," according to the Williams Institute, a public policy think tank focused on sexual orientation and gender identity issues.
    Another issue is that police, media and even family members will often misgender the victims, describing the person using the name and gender with which they did not identify. Of the 28 victims CNN found, the majority were misgendered initially, and in some cases, police and media continue to do so.
    Viccky Gutierrez, 33, was active in the trans community in LA, an immigrant from Honduras, friends who set up a crowdfunding page to raise money for her funeral called her a "beautiful soul who was really nice to everyone." She was killed in January.
    It was the second year in a row that more than two dozen members of the trans community were known to have been killed; 2017 was the deadliest on record. At least 29 transgender people were killed in 2017, according to the Human Rights Campaign. By the group's calculations, there have been 128 killings of trans people in 87 cities across 32 states since 2013, of whom 80% were people of color.
    All but one of the victims in 2018 were trans women, and all but one were people of color. That trend has been consistent for years.