Alas, my first post this morning must be about mourning. January isn’t even over yet, and there has already been at least one trans person murdered in 2019. And sadly it isn’t at all surprising that she is a woman, Black, or young. This past Sunday January 6th (Epiphany / Three Kings Day), Dana Martin, 31, a Black trans woman, was found murdered in Montgomery, Alabama.
Last November 20th was the 20th annual Transgender Day Of Remembrance (TDOR), when we remembered the at least 25 trans people murdered in this country since TDOR 2017, and the hundreds more murdered elsewhere in our world. And between that day and the end of the year, at least two more of my trans siblings were taken by murder here in the US, and we became more aware of an October murder. And the great majority of those stolen continue to be Black, women, and young.
Between TDOR 2017 and the end of 2017, three trans women were murdered -- Brooklyn BreYanna Stevenson (Oklahoma City), Brandi Seals (Houston), and Rhiannon Layendecker (Englewood, Florida). In 2018, they were joined by Christa Steele Knudslien (North Adams, Massachusetts -- we were colleagues there in my home state and Friends here), Viccky Gutierrez (Los Angeles), Celine Walker (Jacksonville), Tonya Harvey (Buffalo), Zakaria Fry (Albuquerque), Phylicia Mitchell (Cleveland), Amia Tyrae Berryman (Baton Rouge), Sasha Wall (Chesterfield County, South Carolina), Karla Patricia Flores-Pavón (Dallas), Nino Fortson (Atlanta), Gigi Pierce (Portland, Oregon), Roxana Hernandez (Albuquerque), Antasha English (Jacksonville), Diamond Stephens (Meridian, Mississippi), Cathalina Christina James (Jacksonville), Keisha Wells (Cleveland), Sasha Garden (Orlando), Vontashia Bell (Shreveport, Louisiana), Dejanay Stanton (Chicago), Shantee Tucker (Philadelphia), Londonn Moore (North Port, Florida), Nikki Enriquez (Laredo, Texas), Ciara Minaj Carter Frazier (Chicago), Regina Denise Brown (Orangeburg, South Carolina), Tydi Dansbury (Baltimore, an hour from me here in Gaithersburg), and Keanna Mattel (Detroit).
I note that there have been multiple murders in some places, that Roxana died in ICE custody with significant evidence showing she was abused there, and that Nikki was one of four women victims of an intel supervisor for US Border Patrol. And that more than 360 trans people have been murdered elsewhere in our world in the past year, and the great majority are Latinx -- mostly trans women and transfeminine people. Too, there continues to be little attention given to the murders of and assaults on Native people who are Two Spirit.
I also remember Nicole Hall, a Black trans woman found dead in Dallas in May. And my siblings lost to suicide, as the attempt rate in our community is over 40%. And every year there are unreported deaths, and reported ones where the victim is not identified as trans.
May all of my trans sisters, brothers and other siblings’ memories be a blessing, as we say in Judaism -- and one that calls us to act, especially at trans justice’s intersection with racial, immigration and economic justice. May we continue schlepping towards tikkun olam, world repair, at the intersection of LGBTQI+, climate, racial, immigration, spiritual, fat, disability, and all other stripes of the rainbow of justice. May we never forget that white supremacy has always included and prioritized misogyny, cis supremacy and transphobia. Amen!
#TDOR #TDOR2018 #TDOR2019 #TransDayOfRemembrance #WontBeErased