HRC Mourns Whispering Wind Bear Spirit, Indigenous Non-Binary Person Killed in Pennsylvania

HRC recorded 44 transgender and gender-disparate deaths in 2020, more than any year since we started prosecuting this violence in 2013.

York City Police are investigating Whispering Wind’s death as a homicide, according to local media. Anyone with information can call 717-846-1234, post a tip at 717-849-2204, or contact Crime Stoppers at 755-TIPS.

According to a 2020 report by HRC, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, Giffords Law Center, and Equality Florida titled “Remembering and Honoring Pulse” in the United States, more than 10,000 hate crimes have been linked to a gun, which is more than 28 per Tag Equals: Anti-LGBTQ prejudice and guns are killing countless LGBTQ people. ”The report also notes a significant increase in hate crimes against LGBTQ people, especially transgender people. According to the 2017-2019 Transgender Homicide Tracker, three quarters of confirmed homicides against transgender people have been linked to a gun, and nearly eight in 10 homicides among black trans women involve a gun. Additionally, advocates saw anti-LGBTQ hate group formation rise 43% in 2019.

At the state level, the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission has extended protection from gender discrimination in employment, housing, and public spaces to transgender and non-gendered individuals. Pennsylvania has no law that specifically addresses hate crimes or bias crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity. While there has been some progress in the past few weeks supporting and validating transgender people, we are also currently facing anti-LGBTQ attacks targeting transgender people directly at many levels of government. Last week set a record 2021 as the worst year for anti-LGBTQ legislation in recent history.

We must make better demands of our elected officials and reject harmful local, state and federal anti-transgender laws, while considering all ways to end this violence. It is clear that lethal violence disproportionately affects colored transgender women, especially black transgender women. The intersection of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia, and homophobia conspire to rob them of the need to live and thrive.

To work towards this goal and tackle the stigma of transgender and non-binary people, HRC partnered with WarnerMedia on a PSA campaign to raise their voices and stories. Learn more and check out the PSAs here.

HRC also launched the “Count Me In” campaign to encourage all, LGBTQ people and allies, to come out loud, be visible and raise awareness on behalf of transgender and non-binary people. The more people show that they care, including allies and trans and non-binary people who stand up for the most marginalized people in our community, the more we will change our hearts and minds. Learn more and take action at

In the pursuit of greater accuracy and respect, HRC provides guidelines for journalists and others reporting on transgender people. HRC, Media Matters and the Trans Journalists Association have also teamed up on an FAQ for reporters writing about anti-trans violence. For more information on the HRC’s transgender justice work, visit

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