Post submitted by Beth Sherouse, former ACLS Public Fellow, HRC Senior Content Manager
Keyshia Blige, a 33-year-old Black transgender woman, was fatally shot on March 7, but it has only been in the past week that the LGBT community has learned of her death because initial reports misgendered her. No arrests have been made, and the police say the killing is not being investigated as a hate crime.
Blige is at least the 19th transgender person who has been killed in the U.S. in 2015.
Blige’s mother told the Chicago Tribunethat two months before her death, Keyshia had started taking hormones to begin her medical transition and was beginning to live openly as a woman, but the newspaper still identified her by her birth name and used male pronouns.
The Guardian reporter Zach Stafford interviewed Blige’s best friend, Sasha Love, who recalled, “She was the happiest I had ever seen her once she started transitioning.”
In addition to Blige, several other recent transgender victims have been misidentified and misgendered for months after they were killed. Jasmine Collins, who was killed in June, for example, was misgendered until reports surfaced over the past week that she was, in fact, a victim of anti-transgender violence.
These cases underscore the reality that many instances of anti-transgender violence go unknown and unreported––victims’ stories we will never know because investigators and news outlets fail to accurately report their identities, dishonoring them even in death.
For more information on anti-transgender violence, visit hrc.org/trans-violence.