Trans woman Monica Loera murdered in Austin, Texas and misgendered by the media

Trans advocate Monica Roberts, who blogs regularly at Transgriot, reported on Friday that a 43-year-old transgender woman named Monica Loera was murdered on January 22, 2016 in Austin, Texas. It took several days for the community to realize that Loera was a trans woman because initial police and media reports used her former name and male pronouns to refer to her.

Unfortunately, this scenario is far too common. Media outlets routinely misgender transgender people who have been victimized by violence. GLAAD has a resource for journalists called "Doubly Victimized," which details best practices for fairly and accurately reporting on trans people who've been victims of crime.

GLAAD is reaching out to community members in Texas who are responding locally. We're also reaching out to media outlets in Austin, offering them the "Doubly Victimized" resource and asking them to update their stories. We're also asking that they write follow-up stories telling Monica's true story and discussing the epidemic of violence faced by trans women - particularly trans women of color.

Katie Urbaszewski at the Austin American-Statesman interviewed Monica's friends, including Deirdre Mask who said about Loera: "She was very warm and friendly; just she had this way about her. She was vivacious. She’d really just extend warmth to people.”

According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, Loera is the first transgender woman killed in 2016. Last year saw a record number of trans women murdered, with at least 21 transgender women losing their lives to hate violence. Nearly all of the victims were transgender women of color.

On Friday, February 12, there will be a vigil to remember Monica Loera in Austin. Details about the event may be found on Facebook.