Post submitted by Beth Sherouse, former ACLS Public Fellow, HRC Senior Content Manager
The transgender community in Fresno, Calif., is reeling from the loss of K.C. Haggard, a 66-year-old transgender woman who was fatally stabbed yesterday.
K.C. is at least the eleventh transgender woman murdered in the U.S. so far this year, and the second transgender woman murdered this week, following the brutal beating death of India Clarke in Tampa, Fla. earlier this week.
A video of Haggard’s attack (warning: graphic violence) shows her being called over to a car and talking with someone in the passenger seat, who then stabs her in the neck. She then stumbles down the sidewalk, holding her neck and attempting to flag down a car for help before she collapses.
"No one stopped,” said local transgender advocate Karen Adell Scot. “She collapsed on the sidewalk and then many pedestrians just did nothing but look at her body on the ground as she bled out."
The violence suffered by Haggard and Clarke –– and the numerous other transgender women who have lost their lives to murder –– does not occur in isolation. Poverty, employment discrimination, housing discrimination and poor treatment by police are among the factors that make them vulnerable to violence, factors that are compounded for transgender women of color. Beyond these more concrete factors are the powerful influences of sexism and transphobia, through which our culture seeks to define what it means to be a woman, and stigmatize those who fail to fit that narrow and unrealistic definition.
HRC extends our condolences to K.C.’s family and friends, and the broader transgender community.
For more information on violence against transgender people, visit hrc.org/trans-violence.