Violence against transgender folks is so constant we miss covering a lot of murders. In early April Charlotte, NC resident Toni Alston was shot and killed. The infuriatingly standard failures by law enforcement, the press, and politicians in responding to the murder of a transgender woman followed.
Two weeks ago Ashley Santiago Ocasio was shot in the head in her Corozal, Puerto Rico home. Whether this was murder was motivated by transphobia is not known for sure yet, but the incredibly violent nature of the crime scene implies a hate crime. Ashley’s slaying is especially frightening for the transgender and gender non-conforming community in Puerto Rico since it follows the recent slaying of Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado.
On April 15 A transgender graduate student (who prefers to remain anonymous) at California State University-Long Beach was attacked in a men’s restroom on campus. His attacker carved the word “IT” into the student’s chest. Amidst all the hand wringing by opponents of transgender rights about trans folks in public restrooms, this attack is a sad reminder these gendered public spaces are actually too often a site of violent attacks against transgender and gender non-conforming folks.
My thoughts are with these individual’s communities and the survivor of the CSULB attack as they all grieve and try to move forward. Such violence is so overwhelmingly prevalent. We need massive cultural change, need respect for the life of all people trying to live their genders on their own terms in an incredibly fucked up world.
Anti-transgender violence in NC, CA and Puerto Rico