Less than 24 hours after learning about the first transgender person reported murdered this year comes word of a trans sister, India Monroe, who was murdered in December, but misgendered. From Mic.com
Initial reports said Monroe, 29, was with 37-year-old Mark Gray and they were both found shot, though there was no sign of forced entry into the home. The Tidewater district medical examiner said the cause of Monroe’s death was multiple gunshot wounds and they ruled the death a homicide. The Newport News police department said they’re currently investigating Monroe’s death as a domestic incident, not a hate crime.
One could argue the line between intimate partner violence and hate, but I am also deeply saddened to read that India’s family opted to bury her under her old name, dressed and groomed as a man rather than as her true self. India’s story is evidence that our attempts to tabulate the number of actual victims of fatal transphobic violence are always going to be underestimations and that the real lived lives of our sisters are especially in peril, in life and death.
And, there’s more. From the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs:
“We’ve responded to three reports of homicides in Virginia in the past ten weeks, and two of those people have been trans women of color and all three have been women of color. We’re working hard in community to support folks while also continuing to work to prevent this violence from happening in the first place,” said Stacie Vecchietti, Director at Virginia Anti-Violence Project. “Part of that work, in a larger context, is actively working against anti-trans legislation, such as the Physical Privacy Act that was introduced yesterday in the Virginia general assembly. Legislation like this reinforces the hate and fear that breeds violence against queer and transgender people in Virginia.”
Virginia and Texas are among the states that we anticipate introducing legislation to make life even more difficult and dangerous for our trans and gender nonconforming neighbors.
Autostraddle has this to say when reporting on another murder yesterday.
A note from our Trans Editor, Mey Rude:
If we’re going to claim to be allies and sisters and lovers and friends of Black and brown trans women, we can’t just only talk about them when they get murdered. That’s not really doing anything to help them. We need to hire Black and brown trans women, we need to pay Black and brown trans women, we need to listen to Black and brown trans women. I’m a trans Latina but I have a lot of privilege because of how light my skin is, but it pierces my heart every time someone from my twoc community is murdered like this. There are plenty of us who are ready and capable to take this problem on. But we need help. It’s hard for us to get jobs and housing and healthcare and just support. We need cis people and white people to step up and support us while we’re alive. Please, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m okay begging for help. If you search this site and the internet you’ll see Black and brown trans women telling you what you need to do. You need to listen.
You can start by reading this list of 24 things you can do to help trans women right now. If you live in a state that is planning to (or already has) introduced trans-scapegoating legislation, you can call your state representatives.
Rest in power, India.
Once again, here is a list of the neighbors lost during 2016.
- Monica Loera – Austin, Texas (January 22)
- Jasmine Sierra – Bakersfield, California (January 22)
- Kayden Clarke – Mesa, Arizona (February 4)
- Maya Young – Philadelphia (February 20)
- Suspicious death of Veronica Cano – San Antonio (February 20)
- Demarkis Stansberry – Baton Rouge (February 27)
- Kedarie/Kandicee Johnson – Burlington, Iowa (March 2)
- Quartney Davia Dawsonn-Yochum (Kourtney Yochum) – Los Angeles (March 22)
- Shante Thompson – Houston (April 9)
- Keyonna Monroe Blackeney – Rockville, MD (April 16)
- Reecey Walker – Wichita (May 1)
- Mercedes Successful – Haines City, FL (May 15)
- Amos Beede (Burrlington, VT), 38 years old
- Goddess Diamond (New Orleans, LA), 20 years old
- Dee Dee Dodds (Washington D.C.), 22 years old
- Dee Whigham (Biloxi, Mississippi), 25 years old
- Skye Mockabee – Cleveland (July 30) 26 years old
- Erykah Tijerina – El Paso (August 8) 36 years old
- Rae’Lynn Thomas – Columbus (August 10) 28 years old
- T.T. Saffore – Chicago (September 11) 26 or 27 years old
- Lexxi Sironen – Maine (September 6) 43 years old
- Crystal Edmonds – Baltimore (September 16) 32 years old
- Jazz Alford – Birmingham (September 23) 30 years old
- Brandi Bledsoe – Cleveland (October 8) 32 years old
- Noony Norwood – Richmond (November 6) 30 years old
- India Monroe – Newport News, VA (December 21) 29 years old
And the list of trans neighbors murdered in 2017
- Mesha Caldwell – Mississippi (January 4), 41 years old