Lamia Beard was just 30 years old.
Her body was found Saturday morning, January 17. Her life and death were shown further disregard by police & media misgendering as well as victim blaming. From The Virginian Pilot:
According to a news release, Beard was found shortly before 4 a.m. in the 700 block of E. 25th St. suffering from a gunshot wound. [She] was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where [she] died.
Another individual was shot 2 and 1/2 hours later on a nearby street, but did not have life threatening injuries. Police are trying to determine if the two incidents are related.
Final arrangements for Lamia (under her old name) are available here.
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs’ (NCAVP) most recent report, Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2013, documented 18 anti-LGBTQ homicides in 2013. Of those homicide victims, almost 90% were people of color. Almost three-quarters (72%) of homicide victims were transgender women, and more than two-thirds (67%) were transgender women of color.
NCAVP responded to the deaths of twelve transgender women of color in 2014.
Lamia deserves better. Her memory deserves to be honored and cherished, not twisted to meet the expectations and needs of other people – even those who mourn her. So rather than rant again, I’m going to share a post from Lamia’s Facebook page that she made public.
Anyone with information about either shooting is asked to contact the Norfolk Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (I have to add that that’s the worst name for a tip line I’ve ever encountered.)
Rest in peace, Rest in power, Lamia. I hope with all my heart that your journey was amazing no matter how short.
UPDATE – Lamia’s family is working with the Virginia Anti-Violence Project. They are asking for community support to help pay for Lamia’s funeral expenses – they are trying to raise $2,000. If you are able to contribute, here is the link. VAVP has also worked with GLAAD and NCAVP to address inaccurate media coverage.