- September 8, 2014
Post submitted by Beth Sherouse, HRC Senior Content Manager
As a summer marred by attacks on trans women of color comes to an end, the violence continues. Alejandra Leos – who was murdered last Friday just steps from her Memphis home – is the most recent casualty in an epidemic of anti-trans violence that has claimed the lives of numerous women this year, including Islan Nettles, Artegus Konyale Madden, Melony Smith, Eyricka Morgan, Amari Hill, Betty Skinner, Cemia Dove, Tiffany Edwards, Kandy Hall, Zoraida Reyes, Shaun Hartley, Yaz'min Shancez, Brittany Nicole Kidd-Stergis, and Mia Henderson.
If we add to this list the trans women who have reported being attacked, beaten, stabbed, shot, and harassed during the same time period, it becomes staggeringly clear that anti-trans violence is something we must continue as a community to acknowledge, discuss, and work against.
As Alejandra’s family and friends mourn this incredible loss, other trans women of color across the country face the terrible reality that they are more likely than any other group within the LGBT community to be assaulted or killed because of who they are, and that our society provides them few resources or protections from poverty and violence.
In the wake of these murders, HRC reiterates our condemnation of these horrendous transphobic attacks. The same day that Leos was murdered HRC President Chad Griffin spoke of this epidemic of anti-trans violence in a speech at the Southern Comfort Conference in Atlanta. “It’s time to call it what it is,” Griffin said. “Anti-trans violence is a national crisis. […] We can never, ever accept this violence as a given. And together we have got to turn the tide.”