Islan Nettles, a New York City transgender woman of color, has died after an attack in the early morning hours of August 17. According to DNA Info and the NYPD, Ms. Nettles and her friends were on West 148th Street and 8th Avenue on Saturday night when one or more people attacked her, using anti-gay and anti-transgender slurs. Ms. Nettles was taken to Harlem Hospital for her injuries and, on Thursday, was taken off of life support and died. One person has been arrested in relation to this incident.
A vigil for Islan Nettles will be held on Monday night to express our grief and outrage at her death. You can find more updates on Facebook.
Reporters who are covering the story of the murder of Islan Nettles should refer to GLAAD's resource, Doubly Victimized: Reporting on Transgender Victims of Crime. This story also comes at the same time as the highly publicized case of Private Chelsea Manning's transition. Media should take note that these are two very separate stories, and not confuse or conflate them.
Islan's death follows the murder of Domonique Newburn in Los Angeles, Diamond Williams in Philadelphia, and a string of anti-LGBT attacks in New York City earlier this summer. Islan is the second death to result from anti-LGBT attacks in NYC. The first was Mark Carson, who was killed in May.
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Council member Robert Jackson and Council Member Inez Dickens issued a joint statement, denouncing the attack. "An attack against one person, or one community is an assault against all New Yorkers. We ask all New Yorkers to come together, to embrace our differences and to denounce hate violence. New York City's greatest strength is our diversity and we must send a clear message that we will not be deterred by acts of hate. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim's family and friends during this difficult time."
According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects, 2012 saw 25 anti-LGBTQ murders. 73.1% of all anti-LGBTQ homicide victims in 2012 were people of color and 53.8% were transgender women. In this report, NCAVP provides specific recommendations for policymakers, funders, and community members to reduce and prevent violence against transgender people of color.
Report violence to the Anti-Violence project at 212-714-1141 or online at http://avp.org/get-help/report-violence.
If you see defamatory coverage of Islan Nettles' murder, if she is misgendered or slandered for being transgender, please report it to GLAAD.