- October 15, 2014
In response to the brutal attack of Jennifer Laude, a Filipina transgender woman, the Human Rights Campaign is calling for the U.S. Department of Defense and the Philippine government to fully and swiftly investigate her murder. Media reports indicate a U.S. service member is being held as a suspect in the crime, which occurred last Saturday just outside Manila.
“The Department of Defense should use every tool at its disposal to bring justice to Jennifer’s family and to make abundantly clear that violence against transgender people, in any form, is inexcusable,” said HRC’s Director of Government Affairs David Stacy. “We stand with Jennifer’s friends and family in mourning this tragic loss.”
The day after Jennifer’s murder, a transgender woman was brutally beaten with a 2x4 in Brooklyn by men who had allegedly shouted anti-gay epithets at her. According to the Anti-Violence Project, it was the second anti-LGBTQ attack in two weeks in the area.
Transgender women of color face disproportionate levels of violence in comparison to other members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. According to a report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, 72 percent of LGBTQ homicide victims in 2013 in the United States were transgender women and 89 percent were people of color. Discrimination in employment, healthcare, and persistent racism can reinforce one another to place transgender people of color at greater risk for poverty and violence. This trend is just as alarming around the world.