Over the Memorial Day weekend, I read about the death of a Black trans woman in a triple homicide in Detroit.
From The Advocate:
“Officers responded to a call at 5 a.m. in the 3400 block of Devonshire where an unknown gunman shot a 21-year-old man, a 20-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman. The two men died at the scene, and the woman was transported to a local hospital in critical condition, police said. She died later that day of her injuries, police said.“
It has taken many, many days to confirm her identity and the horrifying reality that all three victims were part of the LGBTQ community.
A Detroit man has been charged with killing three people who prosecutors say were targeted because of their sexuality.
Devon Robinson, 19, of Detroit is facing three counts of first-degree murder in the May 25 shootings of Alunte Davis, 21, Paris Cameron, 20, and Timothy Blancher, 20, all of Detroit, in a home on Devonshire on the city’s east side, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Thursday.
Two other victims were also shot but survived.
Worthy’s office said Davis and Blancher were gay men. Cameron was a transgender woman.
Three Black queer and trans young adults gunned down in a bloody weekend in Detroit because they EXISTED. I can’t ever wrap my mind around that much less find a way to write this post.
Paris deserved better and I want to simply acknowledge her because this brutal killing is the epitome of how our intersecting identities are very much front and center in our lived lives. It matters that Paris was a Black woman, a Black trans woman, a trans woman, and that she died alongside two other young Black gay men. It matters that they were so young. It all matters, but it took over a week to just be able to say her name.
My list of transgender neighbors lost during the calendar year 2019.
- Dana Martin – Montgomery, Alabama. January 6, 2019. Age: 31.
- Ashanti Carmon – Fairmount Heights, Maryland. March 30, 2019. Age: 27
- Claire Legato – Cleveland. May 14, 2019. Age: 21
- Muhlaysia Booker – Dallas. May 18, 2019. Age 23.
- Michelle Simone Tameka Washington – Philadelphia, May 19, 2019. Age 40.
- Paris Cameron – Detroit, May 25, 2019. Age 20.
- Chynal Lindsey – Dallas, June 1, 2019. Age 26
Rest in power, Paris. I don’t know what justice looks like here, but I do know that you deserved to be alive and moving through your life.
I feel safer,am treated better and people are actually interested in my journey, because of the challenges a trans person faces …. yet, I come from a country with a shameful history of segregation, racism and violence. People know what it feels like to be discriminated against, abused, marginalised and mistreated.
I guess it’s a simple analogy, you can only know what starving is like, if you have been hungry, you can only appreciate warmth, if you’ve been cold…. So people can only understand what others are going through, if they too have faced adversity.
Compassion is born out of experiencing difficulty and Its astounding that in the “land of free, home of the brave” that a war is being waged by cowards, on defenceless people… People who have had to face struggles that the vast majority of others in the world, will hopefully never face, every single day of their lives… who actually need the protection of others, the shelter that the human conditions of tolerance, understanding and acceptance provide… It’s shameful that in the land of the free, still today, people are not free, they are marginalised, discriminateded against, threatened, beaten, abused and killed.
Another trans sister was killed this week, the LGBTQI community is facing abuse daily….You should be ashamed America and while I know there are many Americans who abhor this kind of behaviour, (I spent a year traveling all across the states from NY to LA and absolutely loved it, the people were amazing)…it’s unacceptable that people of any colour, ,creed, gender or otherwise, are mistreated… You sing the Star Spangled Banner each day at school, each major sporting event and the words are now just empty echoes… I mean this for ALL people of any minority or group, ethnicity, gender or otherwise, that is being targeted…
So Miles Wood, your comment is as true and is vital that the good people of America and around the world, stand together, because as the quote attributed to Edmund Burke and used by JFK, in his speech in 1961 says:
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing….
Rest in Peace sister, thoughts and prayers are with your family and loved ones.
It’s about time you all lived up to the name of your country….LAND OF THE FREE…
…. And this time…
The revolution, WILL be televised.