There's homophoia and transphobia. Both are vile and awful and manifest themselves in ways that are so inhumane. I'm planning a trip to Texas this weekend and will be visiting Houston and Dallas, two cities that seemed to be teeming with homophobia last year, or at least that is how it felt on this side of the news. I remember there was a time where both cities were in the public eye and not for the right reasons, one for political anti-LGBT legislation (Houston HERO measure) and the other for what seemed like a gay bashing every single week (Dallas).
I'm not too frightened about going to these cities and enjoying what they have to offer. Most are saying, just go to Austin, it's better there. I've been there, done that and it was great. I'm looking to see what two other Texas cities have.
I walk around any city and don't worry about my sexuality or identity causing me harm. Recently, there's been an increase in the use of the phrase "Walking While Trans." It's been around for years, but with HB-2 and the staggering number of individuals being murdered because they are transgender, the "Walking While Trans" phrase itself is gaining power and acknowledgement for how heinous these crimes really are.
Of the 22 killings in 2015, the NCAVP classified 18 as hate crimes.
Transgender people have a name for the uneasiness they feel when they are in public, facing dirty looks, hateful insults from strangers, and a perceived presumption of guilt from police. It's called "walking while trans," and it is particularly dangerous for minority transgender women.
"We are in a state of emergency because of the continuous attacks and murder of our community," said Bamby Salcedo, president of the TransLatin@ Coalition, an organization that advocates for transgender immigrants.
Transgender rights have burst into U.S. awareness the past two years, extending the conflict between conservative and liberal values in America. – de isues portal
There were 22 reported killings in 2015. But how many deaths / murders were misreported. We've all seen the media mess up the use of pronouns, report deaths using birth names and not the chosen or changed names. We've seen families even revert back to birth names and genders. So was 22 the real number?
There are now 23 murders reported in 2016, with this most recent one in Virginia.
RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) –Family and friends are seeking justice while they remember the life of Noony Norwood. Norwood was born with the name William, but known as Ms. Noony Norwood.
"William grew into Ms. Noony Norwood and was accepted," said Janet Wright, Noony's aunt. Just days after her 30th birthday, Norwood was shot in the 2700 block of Hull Street, and died in the hospital the next day. "She was a wonderful person, and they took somebody great from us, seriously," she said. While Wright and Norwood were not related by blood, Wright says they may as well have been, as they were a part of a close knit community.
"I just want people to know that, that was a beautiful person truly, would give you anything," explained Wright. "Would help anybody without even a second thought."
For Zakia McKensey founder of the Nationz Foundation, Norwood's death hits hard. She also considers her family, guiding her through her journey as a transgender woman. "A lot of people just think we're street walkers and we don't have the same aspirations and goals as everybody else, and that's not the case," said McKensey. [She] says it can be difficult for people in the LGBT community to truly feel comfortable being themselves, but that wasn't the case for Norwood. "Noony was living her life in her authentic self," she said. Through the guidance and support of friends and family, they say Noony spent her days bringing love to everyone she encountered.
Richmond Police are continuing to investigate her death and have released a photo of a person of interest in the case. The Virginia Anti-Violence Project says Norwood's death is the 23rd reported killing of a transgender/gender non-conforming person in 2016. – nbc12.com
For more on Noony's murder and investigation, head over to nbc12.com
Walking while gay. Sounds silly. Probably something we'd make fun of some late Saturday night as we walk from bar to bar, hand in hand with friends or a loved one. "Walking While Trans" on the other hand is a serious statement about certain American mentalities and the manifestation of transphobia into violence and murder.
Some have counted Norwood's murder as #23 while others say iot is #24. We say it is too many and there are most likely more transgender murders that have not been labeled as such.
Our thoughts are with Noony, her friends, her family, and the transgender community.