Trans Day of Rememberance
November 20 marks this years Transgender Day of Remembrance. This year we will be memorializing 95 murdered trans men, women, gender non-conforming people, and those who love us. As you look at the list of murdered women, you should notice a few things. The majority of theses murders are trans women. the vast majority of these murders are unsolved, some of the murders have implications of police involvement. Many of the women were sex-workers, were women of color, were killed by men who they were intimate with.
Every year there are a couple of women who strike close to me, they remind me of myself, or friends of mine. This year, four women illustrate something for me:
Cynthia Nicole – Was a civil rights activist and HIV educator in Honduras. This year has seen a drastic increase in Trans women’s murders in Central and South America. I feel like this is due in large part to increased reporting. Cynthia was trying to work with her government to increase awareness and to bring legislation to allow trans women to correct their legal documents to reflect their lives. She also provided education to Honduran TG/TS prostitutes to combat the spread of SIDA (HIV).
Kamilla – Shot in the face and genitals by her fiancee. She was a post-operative transsexual women trying to get on with her life and forge a relationship. Her fiancee questioned her past and after learning her assigned sex, shot her. Most of the reports I read wanted to discuss how painful the revelation must have been for the poor (unnamed) man. Nevermind that a woman is dead by his hand, the last information I have is unclear as to whether he was even going to stand trial. Also note that HIS face is obscured in the linked article, while not only is HER face clear, but they included a photo from her childhood.
Tyli’a Mack – AKA NaNa Boo – Stabbed blocks away from a Transgender support/resource center in Washington DC. She and a friend were attacked in broad daylight. Her murderer is still at large, and oddly, no residents of the neighborhood have admitted to witnessing anything. Ms. Mack stands as an example that there is no real safe place for us. A street with a friend in the middle of the day or alone with a lover in our bed – we are targets.
Andrea Waddell – University graduate working in the sex industry was strangled Oct 15. Her apartment was then set on fire, likely in an attempt to ruin evidence. A suspect has been caught in this case. A man who allegedly set up a meeting with her for the day of the murder. Given her occupation, I would not be surprised to find out that (1) He met with her for sex (2) He will use the tried and true Trans Panic defense. Nov 6 is the next time he will be before a judge.