Last week, Diamond Williams – a trans woman living in Philly – was brutally murdered and dismembered by Charles Sargent, then dumped in a vacant lot in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood. Sargent is in jail and has been charged.
Sadly, the mainstream media added another atrocious twist to this gruesome story by making repeated glaring mistakes in their reporting – they printed Diamond’s birth name, an awful mug shot of her (she’s the victim, remember?) and they also mention Diamond’s criminal history.
What they didn’t do, apparently, is their job. They didn’t take the time necessary to reach out to the trans community in Philadelphia – one of the most LGBTQ friendly cities in the nation – for good information on Diamond. They violated her in death one final time. Good show. Literally, I guess.
Organizers in Philly are calling for a Speak Out and Vigil to honor Diamond and other trans female victims of violent crime.
GALAEI and MAZZONI CENTER are hosting a Speak Out and Vigil in honor of Diamond Williams, a transgender woman who was brutally murdered last week in the city’s Strawberry Mansion section. Representatives from GALAEI’s TIP (Trans-health Information Program) and Mazzoni Center’s Trans* Wellness project will honor the name and life of their sister who was lost to violence, and call for justice and respect.
Violence against transgender women is unfortunately a harsh reality in our city. This event is an opportunity for community members to gather, speak out, and organize against the violence that continues to threaten the lives of transgender women in Philadelphia.
Aamina Morrison– TIP Co-Director
Samantha Jo Dato – Trans* Wellness Project
Christian Axavier Lovehall – Philly Trans* March
Sade Ali –Philadelphia Deputy Commissioner Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual Disability Services, Morris Home Founder
One of the reasons we’re getting more combative about insisting on respectful media coverage for transpeople is because potential jurors that watch these misgendering and sensationalized reports are being poisoned with this slanted anti-trans coverage that could result in the murder victim at trial not getting justice and the alleged killer going free.Granted we realize you were possibly on a deadline to get it out, or you possibly received incorrect gender info from the PPD about Ms. Williams, but whoever is doing the fact checking or research needs to be aware of that and ask that question, especially when the killer says he committed the deed because he discovered he ‘slept with a man’.
Indeed, the media’s responsibility to get it right is higher than ever now. The AP Style Manual has the correct info as does the GLAAD Media Guide. There’s no excuse.
Rest in peace, Diamond. Monica and allies have got your back and will try to see that justice is served so no other women suffer at this monster’s hands.