There have been more transgender murders reported in 2015 than ever before

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Photo of Shade Schuler, a 22-year-old black trans woman found killed in Dallas, Texas, in July 2015.
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More transgender people have been killed so far in 2015 in the US than ever before, according to activists and news reports. 

Already in 2015, 13 trans murders have been reported, according to the Washington Post. By contrast, 12 trans murders were reported in all of 2014. 

"Eleven of the 13 victims have been women of color. And four of the deaths have come in just the last month," the Post reports.

The latest trans woman to be identified as a victim was 22-year-old Shade Schuler, whose body was found in a field in Dallas, Texas, on July 29. Her body was so badly decomposed when police found it that they were unable to tell who she was or even her race. It took police two weeks to successfully identify her, according to the Dallas Morning News

Amber Monroe, a 20-year-old Wayne State University student, was found shot and killed in Detroit on Aug. 8. In July, K.C. Haggard was stabbed to death in front of multiple witnesses in Fresno, Calif., and India Clarke was found beaten to death in Tampa, Fla. 

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has documented all trans murders in 2015. The NCAVP reports that while hate-motivated violence against lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans dropped by 32 percent in 2014, similar violence rose 13 percent for trans people.

The trans community is particularly discriminated against in the US, according to Sasha Buchert, staff attorney at the Transgender Law Center. Only 18 states have nondiscrimination policies, which means that “in 32 states you can be fired for just being who you are,” Buchert told Yahoo.

That level of discrimination means trans people are often forced to work off the books. They then often become “targets of the violent hate crimes and murders previously mentioned," Buchert said, "made additionally vulnerable for either being sex workers or being perceived to be sex workers."

News of the soaring trans homicide rate comes amid reports of several milestones for the trans community in 2015 — including the highly publicized transformation of Bruce Jenner into Caitlyn Jenner, the confirmation of Dr. Rachel Levine as Pennsylvania's physician general and the decision to allow trans men and women to serve openly in the military.