Deadly Violence Against Transgender People Is on the Rise. The Government Isn’t Helping.

In recent years, the number of transgender and nonbinary people murdered has hit record highs. This year, the alarming trend is expected to continue.

According to one survey, one in four transgender people have been assaulted because they are trans. The majority of deadly attacks against transgender people are against women of color. In Jacksonville, Florida, four Black transgender women have been shot in the last six months alone. Three of them were killed.

The pattern has alarmed activists locally and nationally. Civil rights groups have asked the Department of Justice to investigate the Jacksonville attacks and provide training on responding to this kind of violence for local law enforcement.

A recent investigative report by ProPublica on the murders in Jacksonville found that the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) consistently misidentified the victims by referring to them as men and by the names given to them at birth. Invalidating the identity of a trans person by invoking an abandoned birth-designated name is known as “deadnaming.” This practice negates the truth of transgender victims’ lives and prevents accurate investigations into their deaths.   

The report found that nationally, across 65 law enforcement agencies investigating trans murders since January 2015, “in 74 of 85 cases, victims were identified by names or genders they had abandoned in their daily lives.” If a woman who is transgender is killed and reported as male, then her community may not be accurately informed of her death and witnesses may not know to come forward.

Erasing the truth of trans lives, even in death, is also a demoralizing blow to the trans community. Activist and actress Laverne Cox responded to the ProPublica report on Instagram, recalling a time she contemplated suicide and feared the truth of her life being erased in death:

Being misgendered and deadnamed in my death felt like it would be the ultimate insult to the psychological and emotional injuries I was experiencing daily as a black trans woman in New York City, the injuries that made me want to take my own life.

The trauma of being denied a claim to one’s own truth is reason enough to stop the practice of deadnaming and misgendering transgender people. But practically speaking, deadly violence against transgender people, including by suicide, is fueled by this kind of government action that legitimizes anti-trans bias by perpetuating the idea that a trans person’s name and gender aren’t “real.”

Deadnaming isn’t the only government practice contributing to pervasive bias. In many states, it is difficult to impossible for transgender people to update the gender marker listed on their driver’s license or birth certificate. Even where such changes are permissible, many transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, live in poverty and cannot afford to see a doctor to obtain the required documentation to make the change or pay the fees to the agencies that issue identification. Without identification matching their gender, transgender people can be “outed” as transgender in routine interactions at bars, movie theatres, hospitals, or with police. Such interactions can lead to harassment and violence.

As the ProPublica report documented, being known as transgender also leads to pervasive job discrimination. Without laws explicitly protecting them from discrimination, many transgender people — particularly trans people of color who also experience systemic racism — face housing and food insecurity, homelessness, and criminalization.

Without safe access to public spaces — whether shelters, libraries, stores, hospitals, or the workplace — transgender people are perilously situated and face heightened risks of violence. If you are being followed but can’t duck into a restaurant without fearing rejection, humiliation, and discrimination, your risk of violence escalates. If you are homeless and can’t safely access shelter because you are transgender, your risk of violence escalates as you navigate street-based homelessness. If you cannot find stable work and you need to participate in criminalized economies like the drug or sex trades to survive, your risk of violence escalates.

The insistence on ignoring the truth of a transgender person’s name and gender in the midst of the systemic factors that contribute to violence, truly is, as Cox noted, adding insult to grievous injury.

If we are to stop the staggering rise of violence against trans women of color in Jacksonville and across the country, we must take meaningful steps to recognize the basic humanity of trans people in life and in death.

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Anonymous

Those murderers were assholes. Nuff said.

Sherri

That is not nearly "nuff said". The people investigating the crime are adding to the insult and loss of dignity these people are feeling in life and in death. In addition, they are literally impeding their own investigation by refusing to acknowledge the gender with which these women identify.

Anonymous

This article pushes transexual propaganda (they should make it a crime to do sex change mutilations) omits ugly facts about who trasexuals are., including in homicide cases of who were the transgenders before they were killed? Transgenders (mutilated gays/lesbians as all transgenders are homosexuual/lesbian) involved in prostitution are involved in drug dealing, pimping minors into prostitution or pedophilia. Transexuals are anti-social people, transexuals are drug junkies who commit robberies, drug dealing and pimping minors into prostitution.

With assault and battery cases, there are more cases of homosexuals (sometimes lesbians) and transgenders or transexuals (mutilated gays and lesbians) committing violent crimes such as indecent exposure and then sex abuse or the many cases where homosexuals, lesbians and transexuals (maimed gays/lesbians) commit violent crimes in a drug rage. There are so many more cases of transgenders mixing Cocaine, Meth, etc. with the hormone shots they take & a violent combining where transexual commits violent crime in drug rage. But again, the far more common crimes described get little to no coverage or if they do, they almost always give ½ facts. 28 transgenders who were killed in the U.S. in 2017 (among other things) to try to get sympathy for the transgenders LA Times omitted that in 2 cases, the transgenders were shot and killed by the police such as 1 in Missouri where a transgender stabbed a man, had tried to attack a cop and was shot in killed. In the Georgia Tech case, the transgendergay had refused to comply, tried to attack cops and was killed.

Finally, this will offend people, but if a transexual gets killed, no matter how including a case where a man shoots and kills a transexual or transgender in a robbery, it's best to not mourn the transgenders death, because that transexual has a bad ugly history of doing the things described here. @least that dead transgender won't be able to sell drugs, commit robberies to support their filth & transexuals are pedophiles. Transgenders are snakes (cobras) and if a person kills a transgender, think of it as a mongoose killing a cobra. I am not a Christian and I hate transexuals and world is better place without them as transexuals (mutilated homosexuals and lesbians) are worse than the homosexuals (those who weren't surgically maimed).

Anonymous

Other things to add to my post regarding transgenders with added comments on transexuals, gays, and lesbians. I am not a religious person and I hate transexuals (mutilated homosexuals and lesbians). Transexuals who are in prostitution are drug junkies commit other crimes such as robberies, pimping minors into prostitution, etc. to support their drug habit of mixing Cocaine and Meth with the hormones they take and that combination can cause them to commit violent crimes in a drug rage. They should make transexuality a crime and abolish sex change mutilations. I do not care about gay/lesbian marriage and I think homosexuality/lesbian conduct must be treated the same way as tobacco use by adults.

I don’t care about the gay and lesbian marriage and if knowing and willing adults want to do this then it’s their life. But many gays and lesbians were childhood sexual abuse victims which could have caused their sexual conduct as sexual conduct can be learned. It’s possible that it could be inborn for some, but even if that’s proven to be true , that wouldn’t rule out the fact that sex abuse could be a cause for some. It’s same way that some people have lung problems because they’re exposed to pollution, tobacco and then some people live clean lives and still have lung problems because of bad genes. Then you have people who use tobacco and don’t get any problems because of good genes. It’s still better to not expose yourself to pollution and not smoke.

With June 2016 Orlando Pulse, given that many of the victims were Hispanic and given the problems of homosexual Catholic priests, it can easily be that 1 or more of the gay men killed and wounded in the June 2016 Orlando Pulse had been as a boy molested by gay pedophiles such as gay Catholic priests which caused them to repeat sexual conduct they learned from their abuse & possibly even turn out to be gay pedophiles. It turns out that on that night, there were underaged teenagers in the pub, so there were individual pedophiles seeking victims, before the shooting. Now it wasn’t Omar S. Mateen’s place to be executioner. It was the police’s job to arrest, with jury trials and courts deciding punishment. But there were pedophiles that night in the Orlando Pulse before shooting.

We already know that with Orlando Pulse, Luis Javier Ruiz, 1 of the homosexual men who survived has AIDS and he got this as a result of promiscuity, alcohol and drugs. Orlando Pulse had drug junkies & drug dealers there that night before the shooting and homosexual Luis Javier Ruiz is an AIDS infected drug junky who survived the June 2016 Orlando Pulse shooting. It’s possible that Luis Javier Ruiz is still using drugs because drug junkies often have relapses.

Democrats and Republicans push the same things on some topics such as transgenderism. Republicans especially conservatives say they’re against this, but then push what they say to be against, such as people who call themselves Republican conservatives will speak against pedophiles like HB Milk who boasted about having homosexual relations with teenage boys but then the same Republican conservatives support Breitbart and Fox News having Milo Yiannopolous making excuses for homosexual pedophilia and then the same Republicans making excuses for Breitbart. It’s predictable when we hear gays such as MiloH Yiannopolous supporting pedophilia when it’s homosexual as he did in interviews. @least with people such as Oprah, KamalaD Harris, ex President Obama, etc., they are honest and you know what they think. Those who call themselves conservatives will say they’re against this, but then they hire columnists who support this and who support transgenders such as Michelle Malkin, AnnH Coulter-2 columinsts who are pro-transgender.

It is rumored that Ohio Representative JD Jordan covered up or was negligent with regard to homosexual pedophiles abusing teenage wrestlers during the late 1990s. Peter J. LaBarbera says that he is against transexual mutilations and he says that he is against homosexual pedophiles, yet Peter J. LaBarbera, Laurann Ingraham & Michelle Malkin and Mission America’s Linda P. Harvey are making excuses for Ohio Representative Jim D. Jordan accused of covering up homosexual pedophilia against teenage wrestlers. Sometimes rumors are true. The right thing to do is investigate the rumor and see if proof verifies or debunks this. Peter J. LaBarbera (Americans for Truth), Mission America’s Linda P. Harvey, Michelle Malkin and Fox News Laurann Ingraham took sides with JD Jordan because JD Jordan is Republican & not care about the teenage wrestlers who were abused by homosexual pedophiles. 1 thing people bring up is that 1 of the wrestlers who is now an adult once emailed a photo of a murderer to the victim’s widow. Yes, the wrestler has in his adulthood turned out to be a horrible adult. The fact that 1 of the wrestlers has turned out to be a bad adult has no relvance to investigating Jim Daniel Jordan with-was Jim Daniel Jordan negligent and or did Jim Daniel Jordan cover up homosexual sex abuse of teenage wrestlers?

As Republican Party and Fox News have had people who are transexual such as WBruce Jenner as a guest, no ideology difference between the Republicans and Democrats on some topics and no ideology difference between CNN and Fox News on some topics. Fox News is no better than CNN, especially as Fox News has commenters who are pro-transgender such as Ann H. Coulter and Michelle Malkin who both make excuses for transexuality. Fox News is pro-transgender and they’re even worse because @least CNN, NBC, ABC and the other networks are honest while Fox News pushes the same trash.

Anonymous

Whoever thinks all transgender people are evil, druggies, rapists, etc. has never met a transgender person.

Anonymous

Being someone who lives in Jacksonville, FL, one of the major problems of Black Trans violence is the homophobia from the Black Community themselves. The sad fact is a lot of Blacks in the Jacksonville area are big in the church community (which are very conservative and not open to LGBT), so when someone wants to come out, their options are limited. Also sucks if they live in mostly Westside/Northside (the black parts of town), since due to their location they chances of a good life/career/education is limited With ignorance you breed hatred. With hated you breed killings and disrespects. At my old job we had a LGBT group, we had a hard time recruiting those in our office who are Black since it is either "I don't agree with LGBT people" to "their people are a sin."

It sucks, but that's the power of the Black Church (mostly, not all). To make it worse, Jacksonville is HUGE. Once you leave Westside and Northside, you are in a rural area full of white people who respect cops. White folks avoid black areas with a passion (can't blame them, they go in a black area at night it's like they are asking for trouble.). Since there's more white folks with money than black folks, cops sided with white folks (since we don't have enough black cops in the office, oh yeah since most black people don't like cops, they don't want to be them themselves). Fun Fun Fun everyone.

Leonidas Q. Smiley

"Invalidating the identity of a trans person by invoking an abandoned birth-designated name is known as 'deadnaming.'"

This is a legal matter, not a social/political one. If you want to be known by a name other than your birth name in legal documents, you get a legal name change. Unless someone is known to police, i.e., a validated gang member with aliases entered in NCIC, agencies generally don't use non-legal names in police reports. These formal documents also list biological sex, not gender.

I'd be more concerned about solving the homicides and preventing future violence than hounding detectives for relying on government-issued records to complete government paperwork.

Angie

Actually, it is a social, political matter. Cisgender women get their name changed with a simple marriage license and it's done.

I have to get a criminal background check and it takes weeks. I've been turned down (whist holding a judge's order) by a Kentucky state clerk twice. I was both times given a runaround of 'other' procedure I had to complete which was not needed, because I was holding a court order and (had I known) they were technically in contempt of court.

I left the state of Kentucky because of the harassment and lack of hospitality I received.

Anonymous

Read the article. Most trans women of color (particularly in Jacksonville) are unable to change their gender marker and name for economic reasons. + the crime is exponentially harder to be solved because there is a discrepancy between the network that the trans women is affiliated with and that of their deadname. Youre really dumb lol.

Anonymous

We're talking about reports in local media, not legal documents or police reports.

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