Two transgender women were stabbed in Northwest Washington D.C. on Wednesday, MyFoxDC reported. The attack occurred on the 200 block of Q Street, NW at 2:30PM and left one of the women dead and one in critical condition.
Officers found 21 year old Tyli A Nana Boo Mack and her friend in front of an apartment building after the stabbing. Mack died after being rushed to the hospital, and her friend, whose identity is being withheld by police, is still in critical condition.
The attacker has not been caught, but witnesses say that they saw a man in his 30s fleeing the scene. The Washington Post reports that police are investigating the attack as a possible hate crime based on information that they received from the victim when they arrived at the scene. The attack occurred two blocks away from the offices of Transgender Health Empowerment (THE), an organization that, according its website, hopes to “enhance the quality of life of the diverse transgender populations we serve”. THE released a statement condemning the stabbing:
As our organization strives to enhance the quality of life of the diverse transgender populations throughout the Metro Washington, D.C. area we are too often reminded that even our basic right to life without hate and the threat of violence and even death is in constant jeopardy.
The incident took place close to the offices of Transgender Health Empowerment, Inc (THE) and reminds us that the lives, health and safety of transgender, transsexual and gender non-conforming people are under siege by hate and ignorance. Attacks such as this one threaten our entire community.
In the statement, the Coalition urged police and media to be respectful of transgender people in the process:
Too many times, police and media correspondents have failed to accurately identify and respect the gender identities of trans people, in spite of the commonly accepted Associated Press guidelines that clearly state that reporters should use pronouns and names in accordance with the individuals identity. This disrespect only perpetuates the ignorance that so often fuels verbal harassment and physical violence.
Beverlyn Mack, Tyli A Nana Boo’s mother, spoke out about the violence, remaining supportive of her daughter. She said, “I don't like it 'cause my child was born the same way as everyone else-- through a mother's womb, and I don't think it’s fair for people to take other people's lives.”
As MyFoxDC reported in a follow up story, the D.C. police have offered a reward of $25,000 for help in tracking down the person who committed the crimes.
The D.C. Transgender Coalition is holding a vigil at the scene of the crime at 6:30 on Friday.
GLAAD will continue to monitor all further media coverage of developments surrounding this story.