The “good news” is that Quamar Edwards who has had a warrant for his arrest for the murder of Tiffany Edwards has turned himself in. He’s off the streets for now. Even though they share a common surname, there is no connection between the two.
The bad news is that it appears Quamar Edwards is setting himself up for a “trans panic” defense. His uncle, Greg Mullins, offered this to the media:
Mullins said Tiffany asked his nephew for a ride, and somehow, things escalated from there.
“Apparently, he found out the boy was gay because he’s trying to hit on him and all other kinds of stuff. And I told you, my nephew gets an attitude about that now. I don’t know what happened after but this has nothing to do ’cause the guy was gay,” Mullins said.
If the fact that Tiffany was trans (not gay, btw) had nothing to do with it, then why mention that Tiffany may have hit on him? It being, of course, Tiffany being shot to death and dumped on a street.
Per The Advocate, legally speaking, this type of defense is often referred to as “trans panic” or “gay panic,” in which someone’s own internalized sense of transphobia or homophobia drives them to commit a violent crime. This defense has been defeated time and time again, has been discouraged by the American Bar Association, while lawmakers in California are working to ban the defense altogether.
So while hopefully justice will be served and Quamar will be held accountable for his actions, we see the life of Tiffany Edwards cut short and certainly Quamar’s life going in an awful direction into the prison industrial complex over what? Fear and bigotry.
If Quamar Edwards’ legal team and family fan the flames with a trans panic defense, they are contributing to the next murder of a trans person. We need justice for Tiffany, but we also need justice the other trans women in Ohio and around the nation. We need a more just society for all trans people and genderqueer folks. We need to have more conversations about things around their safety and also their welfare when we are talking about “gay rights.”
It is my skeptical hope that the Gay Games set to begin in August in Ohio will honor the 4 trans women who have been murdered in Ohio during the past 14 months. What a way to use the public spotlight to shine brightly on the entire community, not just gay people.
We’ll keep you updated. Please note that there has been no arrest or even a suspect identified in the murder of Betty Janet Skinner. It is puzzling to me how a woman confined to her bed could be murdered in her bed without any suspects, but I guess that’s why I’m not a police officer.