Post submitted by Beth Sherouse, former ACLS Public Fellow, HRC Senior Content Manager

Thirty-year-old Lamia Beard of Norfolk, Va., a transgender woman of color, was shot in the early morning of January 17. She died at a local hospital. Police are trying to determine if Lamia’s murder is connected to another nearby shooting that occurred a few hours later.

Between June and December last year, at least 13 transgender women were murdered in the United States; all but one of those identified were women of color. These tragedies highlight the intersecting forces of poverty, racism, transphobia, police harassment, criminalization and the variety of other ways that marginalize too many transgender people are marginalized, denying access to the basic necessities of life – like healthcare, employment and housing – that so many of us take for granted.

According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey Black transgender people are eight times more likely than the general population to live in extreme poverty, five times more likely to experience homelessness, factors that place them at heightened risk for violence. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) reported that in 2013, 72 percent of those killed in LGBTQ or HIV-motivated crimes last year were transgender women and 67 percent were transgender women of color.

According to her Facebook profile, Lamia graduated from Norfolk’s Lake Taylor High School, and attended college at Norfolk State University. Community members held a march several days after Lamia’s murder in response to recent instances of violence in the area.

HRC extends its sincere condolences to Lamia’s family and friends.

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