Ohio Murder May Mark Sixth Killing of a Trans Woman in U.S. This Year
Police have arrested an Akron, OH, father in connection with the February 13 stabbing death of his child Bri Golec, a 22-year-old who local advocates say was as a trans woman, reports Pennsylvania LGBT news blog Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents.
Kevin Golec, 52, has been charged with murder and felony domestic violence. Police detained him shortly after 10 p.m. Friday after responding to several calls to 9-1-1 he made alleging that several members of a "cult" had broken into his house to commit robbery and had atacked both him and Bri Golec. With no evidence of a robbery, however, police determined that Golec was lying and that it was he who had had an altercation with and fatally stabbed his child.
Several advocates believe that Kevin Golec's statement about a non-existent cult may be a reference to a trans support group Bri Golec had allegedly begun attending again, notes the Correspondents.
Reports have conflicted on whether Bri Golec identified as trans, but the Correspondents, the first site to report Golec's death as the murder of a trans woman, noted that Golec had "recently ... began to more assertively explore her gender identity." Local trans activist Jacob Nash confirmed to the news site that Golec was involved in the local trans community and local group Trans Ohio has sent out a message stating that Golec was a trans woman.
Alternately, others who claim to have known the victim have stated on social media that Golec did not identify as trans, notes Gay Star News. Local media, including Cleveland.com, has meanwhile identified Golec as male, as has Golec's public obituary, which advocates have decried as misgendering.
Golec is being mourned nationally as the sixth U.S. trans woman murdered within the first six weeks of 2015, in what the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has called an "alarming, fatal epidemic of violence against transgender and gender-nonconforming women, specifically transgender women of color in the United States." In addition to Golec, this year has seen the murders of trans women of color Penny Proud, 21, in New Orleans, La.; Taja DeJesus, 36, in San Francisco, Calif.; Yazmin Vash Payne, 33, in Los Angeles, Calif.; Ty Underwood, 24, in North Tyler, Tx.; Lamia Beard, 30, in Norfolk, Va.; and Papi Edwards, 20, in Lousville, Kentucky.
Kevin Golec is being held in custody, and is scheduled to appear in Akron Municipal Court on Tuesday.