Late Tuesday night police found Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, a 29-year-old transgender woman, strangled to death in her apartment in Queens, according to the latest reports. ABC Channel 7 reported that relatives found her face-down on her bed and believed she had been dead since the weekend. While police have not categorized her attack as bias-motivated, multiple sources believe that her attacker may have been a man she was dating.
As her friends and family lit candles outside her window, they were at a loss to explain what might have caused someone to attack her. “She was such a sweet person. She was loved by everyone, so I just can’t figure who would do something like that to her,” said one friend.The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund and the Queens Pride House have issued a joint statement of solidarity with her family and friends.
As so often happens in cases of violence against trans people, breaking news stories mostly misreported Amanda’s gender identity and referred to her using her name assigned at birth.
But NBC New York and the New York Daily News were the first outlets to properly identify Amanda as a transgender woman and to use correct pronouns for her, though even they initially identified her by her birth name.
GLAAD was quick to reach out to editors and reporters at ABC Channel 7 and The New York Times to correct their original stories, which identified Amanda as a man due to the original incorrect police report. Both ABC and the Times subsequently published updated stories, which fairly and accurately depicted Amanda’s identity. The Daily News also changed her name to Amanda in both the headline and body of their story following GLAAD's outreach.
The following report from ABC’s Eyewitness News, which aired on Wednesday’s 6 o’clock news, provides excellent coverage of this tragic event, except for the inclusion of a problematic line describing her identity:
As more details regarding her death continue to surface, most of the media has remained fair and accurate, after GLAAD asked journalists to correct inaccurate reports and provided local outlets with the tools and knowledge to fairly cover transgender-related stories.
Even the New York Post, infamous for their sensationalized coverage of trans-related news, accurately headlined their article “Transgender Woman Found Dead in Qns Apartment.”
GLAAD thanks the outlets which have demonstrated their commitment to accurately reporting this tragic event and telling the stories of trans people fairly. We urge media professionals following this case to ensure that their reports accurately reflect Amanda’s identity.
We will continue to monitor media coverage of this shocking and saddening loss.