HRC mourns the loss of two transgender women, both black, who were found dead over the weekend. Maya Young was tragically stabbed to death Saturday night in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. According to WPVI-TV, the victim was 25 years old. On Friday, Veronica Banks Cano was found dead at a motel in San Antonio, Texas.
Details about the deaths are limited and police have not identified motives.
In January, Monica Loera, a 43-year-old transgender woman, was fatally shot in Austin, Texas. She is the first known transgender victim of homicide in the United States in 2016. In 2015, at least 21 transgender people -- nearly all transgender women of color -- were the victims of homicide. It was the highest year on record for known homicides involving transgender people. Two of those victims, Keisha Jenkins and London Kiki Chanel, were from Philadelphia. Two others, Shade Schuler and Ty Underwood, were from Texas.
HRC and the Trans People of Color Coalition released a report last November detailing these crimes and addressing anti-transgender violence, with calls to action for policymakers and community members. Additionally, HRC President Chad Griffin testified with other leading advocates at the first-ever congressional forum on anti-transgender violence in November.
In his testimony, Griffin said:
"Each of these women died simply for being themselves. Although the circumstances of each tragic loss have been unique, there are clear trend lines throughout this epidemic. It’s interwoven with other tragic realities that our country has struggled mightily with—including racism, sexism and poverty. We fully recognize that there are many deep roots to this complex crisis. And although we don’t know all of the solutions, many of them are at our fingertips. Congress must act with a greater sense of urgency than ever before to make them a reality."
These words still ring true today. Our thoughts and prayers and with the victims’ families and friends who are mourning the senseless loss of their loved ones.