Time to do a deep dive on some truly diabolical bullshit. There have been three reports of trans women dying at the hands of violence in the last month alone. All three victims of these horrific crimes were trans women of color. In 2018, the Human Rights Campaign reported 26 deaths of transgender people due to lethal violence. The majority of victims were trans women of color. Clearly, this kind of atrocious violence disproportionally affects trans women — especially Black trans women — and yet the media coverage for these women is either slight or non-existent. This is an epidemic, and it deserves to be treated with urgency and action.
Below are the three trans women who lost their lives at the hands of hate and violence this month. Remember their names. Say their names. Talk about what happened to them. Speak out for them. And may they Rest In Power.
RIP Michelle “Tamika” Washington
Michelle AKA Tamika Washington was fatally shot in Philadelphia on May 19th at the age of 40. She suffered several gunshot wounds to the head, body, and buttocks. On May 21st, Troy Bailey was arrested for the attack and is being charged with murder. Washington was a strong advocate for the trans community in Philadelphia, and those who knew her are devastated by her death. In a Facebook post dedicated to Tamika, Deja Lynn Alvarez wrote, “Your memory will live and light will shine on through us.”
“Your memory will live and light will shine on through us.”@HRC joins advocates and community members in mourning the death of Michelle "Tamika" Washington, a Black transgender woman fatally shot in Philadelphia on May 19. #SayHerName https://t.co/FJK3EuaqxC
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) May 21, 2019
RIP Muhlaysia Booker
Muhlaysia Booker was found dead on the streets of Dallas on Saturday. The investigation is ongoing, but the cause of death has been reported as homicidal gun violence. Booker was the victim of another violent crime a month ago, which was caught on tape. The video shows several men violently assaulting Booker and using homophobic slurs. It was reported that the attack was the result of a $200 bet that essentially dared a man (Edward Thomas) to beat up a transgender black woman. Disgusting.
A friend of Booker’s, Jessica Anderson, told The New York Times that Booker had been assaulted several times. She said, “She was so tired of getting beaten down. Tired of not being able to be who she wanted to be.” Muhlaysia Booker was only 23 years old.
Muhlaysia Booker was filmed fighting back against attackers last month. This weekend, she was found dead. At least 26 transgender people were killed in the U.S. last year, most of them black transgender women #StopKillingBlackTransWomen #SayHerName https://t.co/y7rpHQvok6
— BlackWomensBlueprint (@BlackWomensBP) May 22, 2019
RIP Claire Legato
21-year-old Claire Legato was shot and killed in Cleveland, OH on April 15th after an argument between her mother and the suspect (John Booth) broke out. In social medias post made in her memory, her friends remembered her as someone who was “full of life.”
Living your truth at the intersection of racism, sexism and transphobia is one of the bravest, but most dangerous things you can do. Claire Legato was 21.
We lift up your name #SayHerName#ClaireLegatohttps://t.co/hVBoAjX2Ax https://t.co/hVBoAjX2Ax
— Protest Therapist (@blkandnonbinary) May 18, 2019
These three tragic deaths all took place within the last month, and all targeted Black trans women. Clearly, this is a major problem in our country, and it’s not going away unless we do something. So let’s fucking go.
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