Brenda Bostick, 59, is 10th Trans Woman of Color Murdered in 2017

They found her on April 25 around 10:30 PM in the Chelsea neighborhood of NYC. She was unconscious and lying in the street after being brutally assaulted. She was nameless at that point. Her body was taken to Bellevue Hospital where she died on May 4, according to

Now we know her name which was withheld pending notification of her family. Her name was Brenda Bostick. She was a 59 year black trans woman. She was experiencing homelessness.

Police have a suspect in custody – 26-year-old Joseph Griffin.

Cops arrested Griffin a day after Bostick died. Investigators say Griffin, who’s been arrested 28 times, bashed Bostick’s head with a pipe. New charges were pending.

 “He was arrested in the subway station only half a block from the location of the assault, informed the detectives who arrested him that location was his home,” said assistant District Attorney Sarah Marquez. “Other circumstantial evidence ties the defendant to the assault, and the people expect the defendant to be charged with that crime as soon as an eyewitness to the crime returns from a trip out of the country.”
Brenda’s brutal death reverberates along many lines – how did people not intervene? Why did it take 30 minutes for authorities to respond? How is a 26-year-old who clearly needed help free on the street to kill?

If Black lives matter, then Black trans lives matter as well since we are a part of the kente cloth fabric of the Black community  Brenda Bostick’s Black trans life mattered.

 I don’t want Brenda’s death and the deaths of the other eight Black trans women we have lost in 2017 to be for nothing.  I want something substantive to come from these tragic losses, and to me that substance would be to permanently recognize that Black trans women are Black women, and Black trans people are Black people.

There is no information yet about memorials or final arrangements for Brenda. I will share as it becomes available. In the meantime, I ask you to think about your black trans sisters living now among you – in your neighborhood and community. Those who are young and those who are elders, like Brenda. How are you supporting them? Are you investing in their lives as well as grieving their deaths? Do you donate time and money? Do you know what local resources are available and how culturally competent they are for black trans women?

You can honor Brenda and the other women whose lives have been lost by contributing locally right now. I have a list of resources at the end of this post. The only way to turn this around is to invest in the leadership by and support of trans women of color.

Rest in power and peace, Brenda. You worked through this world and created a legacy with your strengths, talents and time. You deserved to live in peace and safety, free from abuse.

The list of trans women killed in 2017 thus far.

  1. Mesha Caldwell – Mississippi (January 4), 41 years old
  2. Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow – Sioux Falls (January 7), 28 years old
  3. JoJo Striker – Toledo, Ohio (February 8), 23 years old
  4. KeKe Collier – Chicago (February 21), 24 years old
  5. Chyna Gibson – New Orleans (February 25), 31 years old
  6. Ciara McElveen – New Orleans (February 27), 26 years old
  7. Jaquarrius Holland (Brown) – Monroe, Louisiana (February 19), 18 years old
  8. Alphonza Watson – Baltimore (March 22), 38 years old
  9. Chay Reed – Miami-Dade (April 19), 28 years old
  10. Brenda Bostick – New York City (April 25), 59 years old

Resources in Western Pennsylvania that can use your donation to support black trans women and/or offer supports & services to those who need them.

Please let me know if I should add to this list of resouces centering, supporting and led by trans women of color.



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