She was 23 years old, a black trans woman and her body was discovered in an abandoned garage on February 8 in her hometown of Toledo.
It took over a week for her death and true identity to be brough to light because of the trifecta of reporting on this epidemic – misgendering, dead naming and focusing on the victim’s history with law enforcement.
From WTOL (content note – misgendering, dead naming)
[Striker was found] with at least one gunshot wound in a vacant garage at 215 Austin Street just before 7 p.m. Wednesday night.
According to Mey at Autostraddle, it was Phaylen Fairchild who first reported on the murder and misgendering, asking people to help correct those errors. JoJo’s family are continuing to use male pronouns, but there’s no reason for police and media to do so now that they have accurate information. JoJo determined her identity, not her family – no matter how much they loved her.
Here is something Mey wrote that you should reflect on.
One of the things that makes these murders hurt so much more is the way trans women are so often misgendered in death. As trans women we try to control our own lives and the way other people see us, as is everyone’s right. Really, that’s so little to ask, that people call us the right name and use the right pronouns. But it’s hard. People who we meet while we’re alive struggle to understand why they should give us this tiny little ounce of respect. Or they just don’t even try to understand. But we fight, and sometimes we’re able to get people to call us by these names, which are our real names. Then someone comes and murders a Trans Woman of Color, usually a Black trans woman, and both the police and media and her family misgender her and use the wrong name. All that fighting was for nothing in the end. This is something that many of us fear.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact Crime Stopper at 419-255-1111.
Equality Toledo has set up a crowdfund to help pay for JoJo’s funeral expenses.
Rest in power, JoJo. We will continue to seek justice in your name and work for a more secure and safe world for all of our trans siblings.
The list of trans neighbors murdered in 2017 thus far.
- Mesha Caldwell – Mississippi (January 4), 41 years old
- Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow – Sioux Falls (January 7), 28 years old
- Sean Hake – Sharon, Pennsylvania (January 6), 23 years old
- JoJo Striker – Toledo, Ohio (February 8), 23 years old