The half-naked body of a 51-year-old trans woman was found last week in
a vacant lot in the Montrose area of Houston. But reports of
Myra Ical's death have been salacious at best, with mainstream media
referring to Ical as a man and saying the area where her body was found
was known by police to be frequented by prostitutes and drug users.
The Houston Chronicle reported that Ruben Dario Ical "also went by the name of Myra Chanel Ical" and that "he had numerous bruises and defensive wounds, as if he had struggled against his attacker."
Police told the Chronicle the area is a "well-known spot where homeless people camp and is frequented by prostitutes and drug users."
Human Rights Campaign board member and Pride Houston president Meghan Stabler submitted a strongly worded letter on behalf of the two organizations to media covering Ical's murder, urging reporters to "use fair, accurate and inclusive reporting" when covering LGBT issues.
Reads the letter: "On Monday January 18 the brutal murder of Myra Ical occurred in Houston. She is a transgender woman but the media continue to use male pronouns along with colorful statements about being found in an area known for drugs and prostitution. This lazy and irresponsible journalism shows the amount of ignorance about transgender issues that is rampant among far too many reporters despite the existence of resources to help them report accurately."
The letter then links to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's Media Reference Guide.
A candlelight vigil in memory of Ical will be held in the lot where her body was found. Click here for more information.