Houston police are seeking a suspect in the shooting of a transgender woman last week, while both police and media are receiving criticism for misgendering her.
The victim, identified by friends and activists as a trans woman named Pinky, was shot in the parking lot of a Chevron station shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday by a man who chased her down, Houston TV station KTRK reports. She was taken to a nearby hospital; news outlets have no information on her condition. The gunman drove away in an SUV.
Police had initially identified the victim as a woman, but changed that, based on her driver’s license, calling her a 24-year-old man, and the Houston Chronicle went with this description. KTRK identified the woman simply as “the victim,” not stating any gender.
Texas transgender activists objected to the misgendering by the Chronicle and police. “This is a story that plays out far too often in our community,” the Transgender Education Network of Texas wrote in a Saturday Facebook post. “Due to the complicated process and financial barriers that our community face when changing our identification to match who we truly are many of us do not have the means or access to be able to have a state issued license or ID that identifies us correctly as who we are.”
The suspect remains at large. Police are asking anyone with information to call Houston Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-TIPS (8477).