Upated: Two Transwomen Murdered in Cleveland

Sad news from Cleveland.

52 year old Betty Janet Skinner was found murdered in her apartment Thursday morning.

Cleveland Police say Skinner was physically disabled, required assisted living and received regular home health care.   She was last seen alive by her home health care worker when she left the Devonshire Road apartment of our fallen trans sister at 10 PM EST Wednesday night.

 transgender, cleveland, betty skinner, hate crime
Betty Janet Skinner. Photo provided by Jacob Nash

 

Tonight, I learned that 22 year old Brittany-Nicole Kidd-Stergis was found murdered in a car on Friday morning. The early media reports are misgendering Brittany-Nicole.

Cleveland, hate crime, transgender, violence, Brittany-Nicole Kidd-Stergis
Brittany-Nicole Kidd-Stergis Photo courtesy of Jacob Nash.

 

In both cases, the media – especially the Cleveland Plains Dealer – are misgendering the transwomen involved. Not only is this disrespectful and demeaning and awful, but it also hinders the investigation of their deaths and that is a true travesty of justice for everyone who might be the next target.

But tonight I’m going to save that rant and simply say a prayer for the memories of both women and our sisters and brothers in Cleveland coping with this terrible double tragedy.

More details and a strong explanation on how the media failure impacts all of us from Monica Roberts at Transgriot

More details from Planet Transgender from Kelli Busey

Trans activists and allies have organized a Community Meeting on Sunday.

 

    • Hello and thank you for commenting. The trans community is working very hard to talk with the media, but the coverage has been a mixed bag. If you click the Facebook link in the post, it will take you to the community planning meeting. That’s where you are most likely to get more information at this point. Thanks. Sue

  • Why does the Headline on Huffington Post “Gay Voices” say “allegedly” murdered? Brittany was shot in the head, Betty was murdered in her Apt. Mainstream Media misgenders us all the time, but for Huff Post to add to the grief and Transphobia by saying “allegedly murdered” ?! – Horrible!!

    • Liz,

      Thank you for commenting. I am so very sorry for your losses.

      The term “alleged” is important because it reinforces that criminal conduct is determined by a legal process, not an observation. I can’t speak for the Huffingpost Team, but I can share that their response to get a preliminary post up was swift. Can they do better? Certainly, but I honestly don’t think any injury is meant with the use of this term – my partner is a lawyer and she’ll probably tell me I should have used the term myself.

      That being said – I didn’t. I honor your grief and stand with you to push back against the transphobia. And I’m starting to suspect that it will take strong stances and words and demands because the media is simply refusing to do the right thing.

      If there’s something our team can do, please send us a message.

      Sue

  • This is a tragedy: these women’s death and the popular media mis-gendering these two women. I beg the Transgender community to be careful. Your life makes you a target, as you know. Watch out for each other. From an ALLY.

  • I took care of Betty skinner as an hha. She was one of my favorite. Im outraged. I just found out today. She didnt deserve this.

    • Shamica – I’m so sorry. Thank you for your outrage. I’m sure the Trans community will need your support and encouragement to ensure both women’s murderers are brought to justice.

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