Advocate June Issue
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Three More Trans Americans Have Become Homicide Victims

Quesha Hardy and Brian Powers

From left: Trans Americans recently lost to violence include Queasha Hardy and Brian Powers; no photo was available of the third victim, Tiffany Harris.

Two more transgender women have become homicide victims this week, and it’s also been reported that a trans man was shot to death in June.

Tiffany Harris, 32, was stabbed to death in New York City’s Bronx borough early Sunday, local TV station WPIX reports. Harris, who was deadnamed and misgendered by some other news outlets, was found in the hallway of an apartment building around 1:30 a.m. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead about 2:20 a.m. She had lived in another Bronx building, about a mile from where she was found.

Police have released a photo of a man they are seeking for questioning; they said he likely had a relationship with Harris. They have not characterized her death as a hate crime. They asked that anyone with information about the crime call (800) 577-8477 (TIPS).

Black trans woman Queasha Hardy, 24, was found shot to death on a street in Baton Rouge, La., Monday afternoon, according to The Advocate, a Baton Rouge newspaper that is not related to this publication. The outlet initially identified her as male, but several friends told reporters she was a trans woman.

She is being widely mourned on her Facebook page. Friends planned a balloon release in her memory for Tuesday afternoon.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Baton Rouge Police at (225) 389-4869 or Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.

In Akron, Ohio, Black trans man Brian Powers, a cook for a catering company who was nicknamed “Egypt,” was found dead on a sidewalk outside a church June 13. Police later said Powers was killed by a single bullet that went through both thighs, and they classified his death as a homicide, the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

Police have no leads in the case, and relatives and activists recently told the paper they fear the matter isn’t being taken seriously because of his race and gender identity.

“I would think someone, you know, would know something,” his sister Vivian Powers-Smith said. “Nobody’s saying anything. ... The police, they say they have no leads.”

Added Steve Arrington of the Akron AIDS Collaborative, who met Powers at a drop-in center for LGBTQ+ African-Americans: “I’m kind of disturbed when they say ‘Black Lives Matter.’ I say, ‘Whose lives, my life? Or just heterosexual Black people’s lives? What about my LGBTQ brothers and sisters? They’re Black. Do their lives matter?’”

Powers’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise reward money. Relatives also plan to hold a vigil August 29 to honor him and heighten awareness of crimes against LGBTQ+ people in general. Anyone with information about his death is asked call Akron detectives at (330) 375-2490. Callers have the option of anonymity.

Activists are mourning all the recent deaths, noting that at least two of the three were Black; Harris’s race has not been reported. “While the national focus on the effort to ensure #AllBlackLivesMatter shifts to the upcoming presidential election and the unrelenting pressures associated with COVID-19, Black trans people are still being murdered,” said a statement issued by David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition. “There is not enough attention being paid to the damage that racism, anti-Blackness, and transphobia continue to have, and this must end.”

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