Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Transwoman in D.C. Shot to Death

Lashai McLean, 23, gunned down in Northeast D.C.

Washington, D.C. – A 23-year-old transgender woman was brutally shot to death in the early hours of Wednesday, according to the Advocate.  Lashai McLean, described by her family as a caring person whose acts of kindness made a difference in people’s lives, was reported shot in the vicinity of a shelter for homeless LGBT youth where she had sought housing in the past at 4:26 a.m., according to Washington Metro Police.  Though an anti-transgender bias has not yet been declared by authorities, the entire District of Columbia transgender community is on alert.  A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators of this crime. Ms. McLean’s murder is an ominous continuation of a viral epidemic of transgender killings in D.C. and throughout the nation, especially targeting transwomen of color.  On the same night as Ms. McLean was shot down in cold blood, police acknowledged another shooting in a nearby neighborhood. The victim in this second shooting survived, but is in critical condition in hospital. Police have not officially linked the two shootings.  A large crowd of grieving family and friends gathered at the Transgender Health Empowerment (THE) office, the parent organization of the shelter where Ms. McLean had received assistance, as news swiftly spread throughout the transgender community. Fox News 5 quoted THE executive Earline Budd: “It’s been time and time again we’ve been getting calls here at Transgender Health Empowerment about stabbings. They’ve been shot and they’ve been beat up and I can just say that I can’t say Shay was involved in any illegal activities in terms of being there, but I can tell you clearly that area has a lot of violence and we work very closely to educate young ladies.”  Budd went on to say that transgender women are constantly in peril, and the city must do something to stop the killings and attacks. D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray expressed dismay over Ms. McLean’s murder, and pledged to work closely with metro police to determine whether sexual orientation and gender expression were motivators for her slaying.  Mayor Vincent declared that violence such as this would not be tolerated in the district. Meanwhile, the incalculable human toll of Ms. McLean’s loss is compounding among her friends and family. Ms. McLean’s financé, Jason Coleman, told NBC Washington that he planned to marry her. “She was lovely,” he said. “I wanted to be with her the rest of my life. It just hurts my heart. It hurts me terrible. I don’t know what I’m going to do without her.”  Breaking News: Metro Weekly reports that a community vigil is planned at the site of Ms. McLean’s murder, on the 6100 block of Dix Street NE, Saturday, July 23 at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend and remember a lady who was beloved in the district.

July 22, 2011 - Posted by | African Americans, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, gender identity/expression, GLBTQ, gun violence, Hate Crimes, Law and Order, LGBTQ, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Remembrances, Social Justice Advocacy, transgender persons, transphobia, Unsolved LGBT Crimes, Vigils, Washington, D.C., women | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

  1. May she rest in peace. Justice for our murdered trans kin!

    Comment by JCF | July 22, 2011

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