While last month marked the 10th year of remembrance of Matthew Shepard's death, November brings another solemn observance in the LGBT community. This Thursday, people across the world will be recognizing the 10th Transgender Day of Remembrance. Here at glaadBLOG, we are reflecting upon the lives tragically lost because of anti-transgender hate crimes this past year.
Statistics from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Program's report on anti-LGBT violence in 2007 showed that there was still a great amount of work to be done. The largest increase of anti-LGBT violence in any demographic category was against transgender men. 16% of total anti-LGBT reports of violence were anti-transgender motivated.
But in 2008, high profile murders of transgender people and people targeted for their gender expression reached double digits. There have been 16 transgender people murdered during 2008 in the US. But it is vital to remember that a large number of transgender murders go underreported or misreported and an accurate statistic is impossible to calculate. According to an estimate by the Human Rights Campaign transgender Americans have a one-in-12 chance of being murdered
The transgender people who have lost their lives in the past year range in age, ethnicity and geographic location, but were all victims of senseless, hate-motivated crimes. Here at GLAAD, we have worked closely with many family and friends of victims to help heighten awareness of hate crimes against transgender people across the nation. We ask that you not only reflect upon those we have lost as we approach the Transgender Day of Remembrance, but throughout the entire year, as we strive as a community to put an end to anti-transgender violence.
- Brian McGlothin. Date of Death: December 23, 2007. Brian wore gender non-conforming clothing and lived in Cincinnati, Ohio. Brian was shot in the head by Antonio Williams, who is currently serving a six-year sentence. Very little information was released about Brian or the crime. Brian was 25 years old.
- Patricia Murphy. Date of Death: January 8, 2008. Patricia was a drag performer and an icon in Albuquerque's LGBT community. She had won the title of Miss New Mexico Gay Rodeo Association in 2008. Patricia was working towards a nursing degree and was the caretaker to an elderly man. She was shot in the head multiple times by Dana Madsen, who was arrested for the murder. Sharon Hardin, who had known Patricia for 12 years, said: "She had a heart of gold." Patricia was 39 years old.
- Stacy Brown. Date of Death: January 8, 2008. Stacy was a transgender woman living in Baltimore with her mother and sister. She was found shot to death and police have yet to gain any leads on her murder. Very little information was released on Stacy or the crime. She was 30 years old.
- Adolphus Simmons. Date of Death: January 21, 2008. Adolphus wore gender non-conforming clothing and was embraced as a dear friend by his neighbors in the North Carolina apartment building where he lived. Family and friends described Adolphus as "jovial" and "a jokester". Adolphus had recently begun a career as a hairdresser. He was shot dead while taking the trash out by a 15-year-old male. Adolphus was only 18 years old.
- Ashley Sweeney. Date of Death: February 4, 2008. Ashley was a young transgender woman living in Detroit, Michigan. She died from a fatal shot to the head. Very little information is known about Ashley and the crime. The National Center for Transgender Equality accused the Detroit Police Department of mishandling the case, as the department did not release the pertinent information involved in the case. Her age is unknown.
- Sanesha Stewart. Date of Death: February 10, 2008. Sanesha was a transgender woman from the Bronx, New York. She was stabbed to death by Steve McMillan, who was arrested by police. There was a notable amount of defamatory and sensationalized coverage surrounding Sanesha's death. She was 25 years old.
- Lawrence King. Date of Death: February 12, 2008. Lawrence was a 15-year-old student who wore gender non-conforming clothes. Lawrence was shot and killed by a classmate. The murder was the most high-profile hate crime case of 2008. For more on Lawrence, you can check back to this previous blog post.
- Simmie Williams. Date of Death: February 22, 2008. Simmie was a gender non-conforming 17-year old from Fort Lauderdale, Florida who was planning on getting a GED and going to culinary school. Simmie was shot and killed by two men.
- Lloyd Nixon. Date of Death: April 16, 2008. Very little is known about Lloyd, who was a 45-year old transgender person. Lloyd was beaten to death with a brick in West Palm Beach, Florida.
- Ebony Whitaker. Date of Death: July 1, 2008. Ebony was a transgender woman living in Memphis, Tennessee. She was found shot to death and the police have yet to arrest any suspects. Ebony was only 20 years old. Much of the coverage, of what little there was, was defamatory.
- Angie Zapata. Date of Death: July 17, 2008. Angie was a young transgender woman living in Greeley, Colorado. She was found murdered in her apartment with severe fractures in her skull, beaten to death. Police arrested Allen Andrade for the hate crime. Angie was only 18 years old. Coverage of the hate crime reached a national level, with articles in The New York Times and on the ABC News website.
- Jaylynn L. Namauu. Date of Death: July 17, 2008. Jaylynn was a 35-year old transgender woman living in Makiki Honolulu, Hawaii. She was stabbed to death by Joel Allen, who has been arrested by police. Local coverage of the case was alarmingly defamatory, calling the murder "not a hate crime." GLAAD reached out to local reporters who promised to improve future coverage. Very little is known about Jaylynn.
- Ruby Molina. Date of Death: September 21, 2008. Ruby was a transgender woman living in Sacramento. Her body was pulled from the American River. Police originally called "no foul play" on the case, but later described situation as merely "suspicious." No suspects have been found. Ruby was 22-years old.
- Aimee Wilcoxson. Date of Death: November 3, 2008. Aimee was a transgender woman living in Aurora, Colorado. She was found dead in her home. Police have yet to release details, but have stated that the signs lead to suicide, something that friends and family are not satisfied with. Aimee was described as "a woman who loved to laugh, loved Madonna and who advocated for other transgender woman who, like her, had been diagnosed with HIV." She was 34 years old.
- Duanna Johnson. Date of Death: November 9, 2008. As we blogged about earlier this week, Duanna was fatally shot in Memphis Tennessee earlier this month. Duanna was a transgender woman who has suffered physical and verbal harassment by the Memphis Police following a faulty arrest. Duanna was planning on moving back to her hometown of Chicago. Police have yet to arrest any suspects. Duanna was 42 years old.
- Lateisha Green. Date of Death: November 14, 2008. Lateisha was a young transgender woman who was fatally shot last Friday in Syracuse, New York. Dwight DeLee was arrested for the hate crime and is being held without bail. Lateisha was only 22-years old.