Transgender Woman Murdered in Minnesota

The victim of Minnesota’s first homicide of 2011 appears to be a transgender woman, Chrissie Bates*. GLAAD was alerted to news stories about this apparent murder on Thursday via Twitter. We researched the story, to see what we could gather about the victim.  All too often, based on medical examiner reports and police reports, it’s difficult to determine the gender expression and identity of someone who has been killed.  However, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and others who know the victim are the best sources for identifying the victim’s gender identity, and in this case, Chrissie’s neighbor and friends, as well as a spokesperson from OutFront Minnesota have all identified Chrissie as a transgender woman. The Minneapolis City Pages spoke with Chrissie’s neighbor Tim Bates (no relation) who identified Chrissie as the victim. GLAAD reached out to both Fox 9 and KARE 11 in Minnesota, because their reporting had used only male pronouns to refer to Chrissie.  Both stations have updated their stories online to more accurately reflect the identity of the victim. We will continue to monitor coverage of Chrissie’s murder and ensure that her identity is no longer ignored in reporting about her and her tragic death. *Ms. Bates’ first name is spelled in several different ways across different news sources.