Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Trans Hate Violence Spikes in Nation’s Capital

MackX390Washington, DC – Hard questions are being asked by the LGBT community in the wake of the murder of 21-year-old transwoman, Tyl’ia “Nana Boo-Boo” Mack and the continuing investigation by metropolitan police.  Stabbed to death in the Truxton Circle neighborhood by an assailant still at large, the popular and well-known transwoman of color had nearly made it to  her destination, the offices of Transgender Health Empowerment (THE).  Another transgender woman of color was seriously injured in the knife attack, but survived.  Her name has not be released because of the ongoing investigation.  By one reputable estimate, there have been six transwomen murdered in DC since 2006, and GenderPAC has rated the nation’s capitol as having the highest incidence of anti-transgender violence in the United States.  The Metropolitan Police are offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect or suspects in the Mack murder case.  G.G. Thomas, Mack’s client advocate at Helping Individual Prostitutes Survive (HIPS), told Will O’Brian, reporter for the Metro Weekly, that she “was a roar of thunder, someone who always had an opinion and expressed it. She was like a role model to the younger girls, saying, ‘We’re all going through discrimination and poverty, dealing with drug issues, family issues…. But at the same time, there’s hope.'”  The DC trans community is on guard, many feeling unsafe in the city.  Gay DC City Council Member David Catania told the Weekly, “This is an opportunity for every leader in the city — whether elected, whether appointed, whether in a pulpit — to stand up and say this is not acceptable, that the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are not so casual and so meaningless that they can be taken from us for no reason,” he said. “This was an unprovoked and unforgivable attack. And this must stop. To the family of Ms. Mack, our profoundest condolences. To every one of us, let us go to all of our leaders and say enough is enough. We want to hear Sunday in the pulpits in this city that this kind of attack is unacceptable.”  David Mariner, executive director of the Center, DC’s LGBT community center, confessed that he was particularly hard hit by Nana Boo-Boo’s brutal murder: “I’m just here along with everybody because I’m shocked, I’m troubled, and because it’s happened again. My thoughts are with the family. My thoughts are with every person in D.C. who has felt unsafe, or who will in the future.”

September 19, 2009 - Posted by | African Americans, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, gay men, Hate Crimes, stabbings, transgender persons, transphobia, Washington, D.C. | , , , , , ,

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