It seems to be dangerous times for a Black or Latina transgender individual. Shelley Hilliard is one of a rash of hate crimes against transgender women of color. A sobering fact is that most meet their end by fire. Hilliard became one of these unfortunate souls, when a 19 year old transgender burnt torso was found in Detroit. The police positively identified the body found near I-94. The figures and reporting that at least 7 have been murdered this year.
In Miami-Dade county 16-year old Kristina Grant Reinwald dies. A father stabs his daughter, Bri Golec in February in Ohio. Penny Proud, 21, is shot and killed in New Orleans that same month. Taja Dejesus, 36, is stabbed to death in Los Angeles. Ty Underwood is fatally shot just this past January.
And then there was Yazmin Vash Payne. Yazmin had also been stabbed to death. Payne’s murderer turned himself into the police. Ezekiel Dear was her boyfriend and shared living arrangements with her. She was found on an early morning after firefighters responded to calls about a fire. There are no exact numbers on this but it falls in the double digits. It is alarming that most of these are within the LGBT community. The motives and murderers were all different; some were killed by their living companions others by strangers. The common thread between them all is hate and it doesn’t help that the media and police have given them the wrong identity and gender.
Pepi Edwards perished and was reported to be a man even though she presented herself as a woman which triggered the gunman’s wrath. Mercedes Williamson is another victim of this bias. The Anti-Violence Project has issued a warning that this is a crisis. The latest being India Clarke, 25 of Tampa Florida who died from traumatic injuries. Law enforcement must now pay attention to the 11 percent rise in the murders of LGBT HIV positive individuals. Last December the FBI has finally begun to probe these hate crimes. Advocate suggests that many as one person a week has been attacked during the first seven weeks of 2015. Even more troubling the media has largely ignored these deaths.
According to reports by the UN, this violence is spread worldwide. Brazil records 310 murders in 2012 of homosexual or transsexual people. In Uruguay transsexuals and black lesbians in South Africa suffer violent ends. Gay man are routinely murdered in Chile. Not all attacks inflicted on this group are fatal but no less dishonorable.
The Zimbabwe police abused their authority by arresting, beating, and mistreating 44 members of a LGBT organization. A woman is Bangladesh who confessed to being a lesbian was raped by police. The events in America rank as number two in discrimination after racial offenses. Another finding is that 76 countries have laws that make it criminal to have a same sex orientation or non-traditional gender identity, and this includes consensual same sex adult relationships. There is no room for an open discussion of this topic in countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Moldova, Russia, Uganda, and Ukraine. These nations enact these laws to protect the youth from this information. Clearly these rules need to be changed and more investigation and prosecution of these deeds.