Transgender women of color are disproportionately affected by fatal violence. And sadly, within 48 hours, two Black transgender women were brutally murdered.
On February 4, Celine Walker, 36, was found shot to death in an Extended Stay America hotel in Jacksonville, Florida at about 8 p.m. She was pronounced dead at the scene, according to The Advocate. The Florida Times-Union misgendered Celine as male, even though she clearly identified and presented as a woman. Walker’s friends reportedly called the Sheriff’s department to inform them she was misgendered, “but were told the department does not refer to people as transgender.” See the post below from one of Celine’s friends.
Less than 48 hours later, on February 6, according to The Buffalo News, Tonya Harvey, 35, was shot and killed on or around 5:30 p.m. Her body was found on a dead-end street in Buffalo, New York. Police have not released any other information, but her death is being investigated as a hate crime. Sadly, she was also identified as male by police.
Is it that difficult to identify someone who lost their life to murder as trangsender? Can’t the dead be respected or should bigoted egos be allowed to get in the way of injustice?
Our condolences go out to the friends and families of Celine Walker and Tonya Harvey. Four transgender women, that we know of, have been murdered this year: Celine Walker, Tonya Harvey, Viccky Gutierrez and Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien.