It all started with Syria Synclaire speculating that since she was a black transgender woman in New Orleans, the mare criticism would one day escalate to something dangerous. Her fears materialized when Chyna Gibson, who was very close to her, was shot dead by on Saturday the 25th outside a New Orleans East Shopping center. Unfortunately, two days later, another transgender woman Ciara McElveen a 25-year-old was also fatally stabbed.
It is without a doubt that the turn of events shocked Synclaire as it confirmed people’s hatred for the transgendered community.
The New Orleans police reported that the deaths of Gibson and McElveen had no connection and that neither of them were a targeted based on them being transgender. The local and the national LGBT advocacy groups said that the deaths highlighted a disturbing number of violent crimes that have been instigated against the transgender community in Louisiana and other places.
Reports from the New York City Anti-Violence Project indicated that there have been seven cases of transgender women that have been killed in the United States in January and February 2017.
Among the seven victims that were killed, three of them were from Louisiana, they included Gibson, McElveen and 18-year-old Jaquarrius Holland, who was gunned down Feb. 19 in Monroe.
Reports from the Anti-Violence Project indicate that 23 transgender people were the victims of homicides in 2016. Other organizations that track homicides of transgender people, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the LGBT news organization The Advocate, both recorded 27 homicides of transgender people. All three organizations say the totals were the highest on record.
The spokesman of the Anti-Violence Project, Emily Waters said the reason the counts don't match is the same as the reason total homicides of transgender people are likely understated. Emily also blasted the media and the police for misgendering victims by identifying them by their names.
Emily Waters also said that the project is just hitting the tip of the iceberg as she insinuated on the efforts of the project to track the transgender homicide victims. She also said that the transgender identities often experience violence because of their identities.
The data on the violence against transgender victims has always been rendered meaningless since the victims are often misgendered.
A 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality found 46 percent of respondents reported being verbally harassed in the past year because they were transgender, and nearly 1 in 10 reported being physically attacked for being transgender.
The director of transgender media for GLAAD, a media monitoring organization founded in 1985, Nick Adams said that those who commit violence against transgender people target transgender women of color at disproportionate rates.
Adams emphasized that the transgender women of color often live at the dangerous intersection of transphobia, racism, sexism and criminalization, which can lead to high rates of poverty, unemployment, and homelessness, putting them at greater risk for violence against them. This points to the three of the Louisiana transgender women killed in February who were all black transgender women.