Vigil for Islan Nettles

The vigil for Islan Nettles, who died last week after being beaten into a coma and being declared brain dead, drew a crowd of hundreds to Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem. Nettles was a 21-year-old transwoman who was pursuing a career in fashion.

On August 17 Islan was walking with a transwoman friend when they encountered a group of men outside a Harlem police precinct station. One of the men, Paris Wilson, 20, had recently friended Islan on Facebook. Wilson reportedly began flirting with Nettles, until one of his friends yelled that she had been born a man. The friends began teasing Wilson until he attacked her. As he was beating her, the "friends" shouted anti-trans and anti-gay epithets. He continued to pound on her face after her head had been driven into the sidewalk. Wilson was arrested after police finally arrived. He was charged with misdemeanor assault and released on $2,000 bail.



Gender Prison: The Cheapness of Our Lives

The Organization of American States has been busy collecting data on the dangers of being LGBT in the Americas. A recent report reveals that 39 Lesbian, Gay and Transgender people were murdered in July of this year alone…23 of them transgender.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the OAS issued a warning earlier this month, “reiterat[ing] its deep concern on violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual and intersex persons (LGTBI), and against persons perceived as such in the Americas. IACHR urges OAS Member States to adopt urgent measures to prevent this violence and discrimination. In particular, the Commission is concerned about the high levels of violence and discrimination faced by gay, lesbian and trans youth in the region."




The Rest of the Story?

Some news stories take much longer to reach conclusion that others. The three stories I have tonight have moved on…and may or may not have reached a conclusion. Eh…probably not. I may have to return to them again.

Two of the stories concern deaths of transpeople. One is about the status of a marriage. The stories are set in Jamaica, Taiwan, and Syracuse, New York.



The anti-transgender violence goes on and on

Heavy Sigh.

Having not yet recovered from the murder of Diamond Williams, Philadelphia's trans community was rocked again on Tuesday night. A 26 year-old transwoman is reported to be in critical but stable condition at Hahnemann University Hospital after being pistol whipped and shot in the back of the head in her apartment in Northern Liberties. She is expected to survive.

The victim was found at the front door to the apartment building, having crawled there from her third floor apartment. She was able to communicate with police when they arrived after being called by neighbors. She reported that she was waiting for a family member when she heard a knock on the door. She opened it to discover a man with a gun who she did not know.

There is video here. That's the CBS coverage, which describes the victim as a woman. Early ABC coverage described the victim as a "man dressed like a woman." I saw video yesterday that identified the victim and had some interviews with family members, but it appears today to have been scrubbed from the internet.



Another dead transwoman of color…this time in Philadelphia (again)

Diamond Williams is described as someone who had a big personality and even bigger heart.

She was so full of life. She was funny and we used to laugh. And I remember just acting silly with her and I just miss her because we had a lot of great times.

She was a very loving, caring, and creative person. We were family. We were like sisters and she loved her sisters. No one should ever have to die the way she died.

--Rachel Rose

Williams, 31, was killed last week after having sexual relations with Charles Sargent, 43. Sargent allegedly dismembered her in his apartment and then dumped her body parts in a field in North Philadelphia.

I don’t care if he knew or he didn’t know. Nobody deserves to die like that. That’s someone’s life that (you) just brutally murdered and dismembered and threw her parts in a field.




Hellraisers Journal: Mother Jones, "I have seen children maimed and torn." The Children's Crusade

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

Tuesday July 14, 1903
New Brunswick, New Jersey - Mother Jones: "I have seen children maimed and torn."

Mother Jones and her Army remained in this city yesterday. She continued to make speeches while the little Industrial Band of fife and drums paraded the streets raising money for the march to New York City and for the textile strikers of Philadelphia. The following is an example of a speech by Mother Jones:

Child Labor

I have seen some children killed by slow starvation and others maimed and torn. What is to become of the next generation when this generation is being torn from the cradle to be thrown into the factories. Statistics show that out of every ten hours of labor, the laboring man is paid for two, while the other eight are stolen by the capitalist...There are three ways of making a living-working for it, begging it and stealing it. And the capitalist steals it from the working man.

The Industrial Army left New Brunswick this morning bound for Rahway by way of Metuchen.




Transwoman's body found in pond near Cleveland...tied to concrete block

 photo cemia_zps984e180f.jpgThis really gets old. On April 17 the decomposing body of transwoman Cemia Dove, 20, was found in a pond in Olmsted Township, near Cleveland. This is the third African American transwoman found murdered since the beginning of April.

The body was found tied to a concrete block and a steel pipe. It was also naked from the waist down. She had been stabbed to death.

As is typical, but nonetheless contrary to AP Stylesheet guidelines, Cemia was identified by her birth name in early reports and continually misgendered. Additionally, an old mug shot was attached to the newspaper stories and her past misdemeanor arrests became the story in some circles…rather than the fact that she was murdered.



WE NEVER FORGET: Aminul Islam, Labor Martyr of Bangladesh

Aminul Islam, a leader of the Banladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, was last seen alive on April 4, 2012 near his office on the outskirts of Dhaka. Family and friends expected to hear the worst when he could not be located for two days. They knew only too well that union leaders and other activist had a way of "disappearing" since the Awami League
government came to power in 2009. (trigger warning)




Transgender Day of Remembrance 2012









It was the autumn of 1998, late November. The previous month Matthew Shepard was found, barely alive and in a coma, having been tortured and tied to a fence near Laramie, Wyoming. The person who found the body thought at first it was a scarecrow.

Photobucket Hester had just returned from entertainment engagements in Europe. She was a statuesque (over 6 feet tall and around 225 pounds) drag performer. She is said to have had an overwhelming stage presence. She was also reported to be very kind and well-liked by everyone in the community.

She was always nice to everyone. She was very, very, very liked by the whole community, so what happened to her was like a real shock.

--Charito Suarez

Around 6:15pm on November 28 Rita Hester's neighbors heard loud banging coming from inside her Allston, MA apartment. One neighbor later reported that someone inside had yelled for help. Police were called and arrived around 6:30pm. They found Rita's lifeless body in the apartment. It had multiple stab wounds.



Two more murdered transwomen: by multiple stabbings in Puerto Rico and by stoning in Brazil

Puerto Rico experienced its 30th anti-LGBTQ homicide in the past ten years when the body of transwoman Malena Suarez was found dead in her home in Carolina with multiple stab wounds in her back. Ten of those murders have been in the last two years, according to a report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. Puerto Rico officials have not yet classified any of the homicides as hate crimes under either local law or the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. And before anyone asks, "Yes. Puerto Rico is part of the United States."

Suarez was a volunteer with the transgender advocacy organization Transexuales y Transgeneros en Marcha (TTM). It is reportedly unclear how long she had been dead when the body was found.

TTM members believe that Suarez was killed because she was transgender. Local media reports have not acknowledged Suarez's transgender identity, continuing a trend of inaccurate media reports of transgender victims of violence in Puerto Rico.

Not only Puerto Rico has this problem of disrespecting transgender victims of homicide. Authorities everywhere seem to believe they are required to identify us by our birth sex.

Hate violence is not only deadly, but it affects the entire community. The transgender community in Puerto Rico is extremely terrorized by this violence, we fear for our lives, and our government is not taking action to protect us.Sophia Isabel Marrero Cruz, TTM spokesperson




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