The murders of two more transgender women have been reported, both in Louisiana.
Jaquarrius Holland, 18, was shot to death February 19 in Monroe, Mic reports. Local media misgendered her, but a friend confirmed to Mic that she was a transgender woman. She was shot during an argument, and police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Malcolm Harvey on a charge of second-degree murder.
Holland, who also used the name Jaquarrius Brown, was unemployed and lacked stable housing, friend Chesna Littleberry told the site. She often stayed with Littleberry, who said Holland was like a younger sister to her and taught her self-acceptance. “I’ve struggled with accepting myself and being who I am, and she always helped me with that," Littleberry told Mic. “I want her to rest peacefully.”
Then Monday morning, Ciara McElveen was stabbed to death in New Orleans. “The woman was dragged out of a vehicle by the driver after she had apparently been stabbed more than once,” local newspaper The Times-Picayune reports, citing a witness and police. The paper did not publish her name, but a subsequent Mic article identified her.
“Dude came around to the passenger side and I see a knife in his hand,” the witness told The Times-Picayune. “I’m thinking he’s about to stab [the victim] but apparently he already stabbed [her] in the car.” He pulled her from the vehicle and slammed her head to the ground, then returned to the car and drove away, the witness said. McElveen was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
McElveen’s death came two days after another trans woman, performer Chyna Doll Dupree, was killed in New Orleans. Dupree was shot to death near a shopping center. She had been living in California but returned to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras with family and friends.
“I’m so thrown right now,” New Orleans transgender activist Syria Sinclaire told Mic. Sinclaire, a program coordinator at the Tulane Drop-In Wellness Center, had worked with McElveen doing outreach to homeless people in the city. She said she had already been so upset by Dupree’s death that she was afraid to leave her house.
“Trans women don’t want any special privileges,” Sinclaire told the site. “We should have the right to live our lives open and free and not be taunted and traumatized by the general public if they don’t approve.”
There have now been seven trans people reported murdered in the first two months of 2017. All are women of color. In the first two months of 2016, six homicides of trans people were reported, and the total for the year reached 27, making it the deadliest on record. Many other murders of trans people likely go unreported, though, or the victims are misgendered by police and media.