violence

Again and Again

 photo melony_zps5844d578.jpgOn the afternoon of September 9 Leticia Alvarado, cashier at a motel in the 13900 block of Francisquito Avenue in Baldwin Park CA, discovered the body of her friend Melony Smith in her motel room.

Alvarado says that Smith had been staying in the motel on and off for three years.

We became very close. She called me sister. I was her sister.

Before I go to work, I always stop by her room and we have breakfast. That day she wouldn’t answer her phone.

--Alvarado

So Alvarado went to the room and had the maid open the door and found Smith's body lying on the floor.

She was all bruised up. She had blood on her head. She was lifeless. I could tell she was dead.

--Alvarado

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Gender Prison: Coming to Rest

I wrote about Islan Nettles' death. I wrote about the vigil for her and her family.

The New York Times went out of its way to cover an event common to the transgender community: the funeral of Islan Nettles. The article is Embarking on a New Life, Transgender Woman Has It Brutally Taken.

After years of often being hungry and on the verge of homelessness, Ms. Nettles, 21, had recently moved into her own apartment, found a job at an H & M clothing store and was designing her own fashion line.

Most importantly, she had begun to live publicly as transgender. Seemingly overnight, friends and relatives said, she had metamorphosed from a shy and insecure youth into a radiantly confident young woman.

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Deportees

 

 

 

 

Amy Lieberman has been covering the danger inherent in being a transgender woman for a few years now for women's eNews. Most recently she has been in Mexico, delving into the consequences when a transwoman is deported back to Mexico.

Mexico is one of the world's most dangerous places to be transgender. But as lawmakers try to change that, transgender women who are deported confront a social backlash that makes their homeland more fearful than ever.

If you pass inside, you will likely find yourself decrying the way Mexican transgender women are treated. But you should be aware that it is not all that much different than transwomen are treated in the US.

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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.

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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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

--Rose

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A dangerous journey for gay, transgender migrants

There are many gay and transgender migrants trying to make their way to America through Mexico. The journey has turned out to be quite dangerous.

The story in the Atlantic recounts the stories of Julio Campo and other displaced Latin@s. Campo tells of a three night stay in a temporary shelter for migrants, where he was the target of "cold, lingering stares."

I felt like a joke, like I was immediately disliked. It was just very uncomfortable and I wanted to get out quickly.

--Campo, a 30-year-old gay migrant from El Salvador

The free stopovers in Mexico for migrants are run by church officials, who are seeing increasing numbers of gay male and transgender female migrants. Some are considering the possibility of separate shelters for the LGBT population.

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An epidemic of attacks on LGBT people in Washington DC

The District of Columbia has some of the best legal protection for transpeople against discrimination. That results in lots of transpeople moving there in order to transition…and in transpeople being more open about who they are.

Unfortunately that also elevates the level of visibility of transpeople to those who wish to prey upon us…and hence the District has one of the highest rates of crimes with transgender victims.

Violence against LGBT people has been running at near epidemic levels the past ten days, with 6 incidents...four of which had transgender victims.

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