U.S. Transgender Deaths in 2015 Reaches AT Least Sixteen

 

Reporting on ISIL killing homosexuals is frustrating since we feel our hands are tied being half way around the world and in a different nation.  What is just as upsetting is what is going on here within our borders and the transgender community.

Since the beginning of 2015, there have been at least 16 transgender women killed in the United States.  This number has drastically increased to the average of two per month due to new reports from Texas, Detroit, and Phoenix.

In a statement, transgender Human Rights Campaign staff member Laya Monarez said: “Even as we are seeing an increase in transgender visibility through a range of inspiring national media stories, including Caitlyn Jenner’s, the levels of violence and harassment transgender people face – particularly transgender women and transgender women of color – constitute a national crisis.”

This week, Texas police announced an investigation into the death of 22-year-old Shade Schuler, whose body was found badly decomposed in a field in Dallas. It took almost three weeks to identify her remains.

Activists in Michigan were also asking for help from Detroit law enforcement, after 20-year-old Amber Monroe was shot and killed in a city park. She was the fifth transgender woman to be killed in Palmer Park since 2014.

In Phoenix on Tuesday night a 35-year-old transgender woman, Kandis Capri, was shot dead – theguardian.com

Here is the local WSOCTV new report about the Walker case.

 

 

Why is this happening?  What is it that we are not understanding?  We cannot put the entire blame on any one factor.  One comment from theguardian.com was:

Like other police departments around the country, the Rowan County sheriff’s office has repeatedly referred to Walker with the incorrect pronoun “him”, despite it being widely acknowledged that Walker identified as a transgender woman. The department did not return a request for comment. – theguardian.com

But while watching the WSOCTV video, even Walker's mother used the "him / he" pronouns.  It seems like there is an issue with understanding all around, law enforcement, family members, as well as legislators.

Bossip.com brings up an upsetting point. North Carolina does not have hate crime legislation.  My question is … do states that have hate crime laws, do these laws also protect transgender individuals?  Do all of these laws mention gender identity?

Laws or not, transgender individuals need some protection.  Two a month have been killed in 2015 in the United States and an astonishing 5 in Detroit alone since 2014.  As we point a finger at ISIL, four more fingers point back at us. 

At the beginning of this blog, I mentioned "at least 16 transgender women" have been killed in the US.  That number is most likely low.  I recall one of my fellow classmates passed away about a year after high school graduation.  His obituary read that he "died unexpectedly at his home."  I later found out that it was due to suicide.  Family members are still embarrassed and shamed about suicide and we know families are unable to comprehend, not willing to understand and acknowledge their transgender members.  Just 16 deaths?  I am just afraid that is a very conservative number, with the real count being much higher. 

Please be safe out there.

What do you think?