In Memoriam: 2011's Transgender Murder Victims
On one hand, it seems inconceivable that we need such a thing as Transgender Day of Remembrance, which memorializes those murdered for their gender identity and takes place for the 13th year this Sunday. But when you have publications like the New York Post refer to Chaz Bono as a "she-man," as it did this week, you can see where some of the intense hate directed at transgender people is born. This devaluation of their lives translates to death every year for many transgender men and women, and 2011 was no different. Here are eight of the approximately 221 transgender people murdered this year, as compiled by Ethan St. Pierre for TransgenderDOR.org.
Bates, 45, was strangled and stabbed in her Minneapolis apartment in January. Her boyfriend, Arnold Darwin Waukazo, is the prime suspect; his trial began this month. Bates had recently moved from Kentucky to Minneapolis to start a new life.
After she had been missing for two weeks, Trent's body was discovered in a vacant Baltimore home in late February. The 25-year-old was asphyxiated.
Marcal Camero Tye
Even though Tye was shot in the head in March and possibly dragged behind a vehicle by a rope or chain, Arkansas sheriff Bobby May told the press that he didn't think the 25-year-old's murder was a hate crime.
Miss Nate Nate
Nathan Eugene Davis, or Miss Nate Nate as she liked to be called, was Houston's latest transgender murder victim; her body was found behind an apartment building's trash bin in June.
Violence against transgender women in Washington, D.C., appeared to spike this year — 23-year-old Mclean was one of the city's victims. Mclean died of a gunshot wound she suffered in northeast D.C. in the early hours of July 20. The police have little information on the two men suspected in her death.
Guzman was killed in August; her boyfriend reportedly confessed to her murder shortly after she was found stabbed to death in her Harlem apartment. Guzman, 38, came to New York from Chile a decade ago to live openly as a transgender woman.
Though Gopalan identified as gay, the 35-year-old was likely murdered for his gender expression — Gopalan was beaten to death in Washington, D.C., in September, and he was wearing makeup and women's clothing at the time of his death.
There was scant media attention when the body of a young transgender woman was found dumped in Detroit. Because of that, it took weeks for anyone to identify the murder victim as Shelly Hilliard, a 19-year-old transgender woman who had been missing for several weeks.