Seven Trans Women of Colors Killed in USA in 2017 - NY LGBT Community To Hold Rally on 3.26.17

Three Transgender Women of Color Murdered in One Week- LGBT Service Providers and Allies Outraged

March 3, 2017 - To date, seven trans women of color have lost their lives this year. All but one was under 35. Violence towards transgender women of color is an epidemic and one that must be addressed immediately. The New York LGBT coalition would like to express our condolences to the families and friends of Ms. Chyna Gibson of New Orleans, Ms. Ciara McElveen of New Orleans, Ms. Keke Collier of Chicago and Ms. Jaquarrius Holland of Monroe, Louisiana. Ms. Gibson, a well-known performer and part of the House and Ballroom community, was gunned down while visiting her family in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. We also express our condolences to the family and friends of Ciara McElveen. Ms. McElveen was stabbed in New Orleans hours after the murder of Ms. Gibson by a man in an automobile, who fled the scene. Ms. Keke Collier was shot dead in Chicago on February 21, 2017. Ms. Holland was killed on February 19th, 2017. Her homicide is only coming to light now, due to local press mis- gendering the victim.

We must be tireless in raising awareness of the ongoing epidemic of physical violence being perpetrated against transgender women of color, even as we are also engaged in protesting the political assault on the protections for transgender youth by the federal administration and other transgender rights. We call for solidarity with our transgender sisters of color. We call attention to the prejudice and discrimination many transgender women, especially those of color, experience on a daily basis, and we especially call on our allies to raise awareness by standing in solidarity with us.  We seek to begin a national discussion about concrete actions we can take to protect our sisters most basic of all human rights: the right to exist.

A rally will be held at Jackie Robinson park in Harlem on March 26, 2017 at 5:30pm. We seek to raise awareness of this epidemic, making our elected officials and community members aware of this crisis while seeking to educate and build allies. We are committed to finding solutions in:

  1. Law—The need for further legal protections for transgender women to keep them safe from violence and discrimination.
  2. Housing—Addressing homelessness and the cofactors that exist that lead to transgender women facing a lack of safe, affordable housing.
  3. Job training—Preparing transgender women of color for employment by offering free skills-building workshops/courses.
  4. Education—Making education a reality for those who wish to attend school free from harassment and bullying.
  5. Social Media—A nationwide campaign to educate and raise awareness about transgender communities of color.
  6. Funding—A recognition that securing funding is essential in order to move our agenda forward. It is essential to put funding dollars behind these goals if we are to succeed.

We sign this letter in solidarity with and for our transgender sisters of color. Our goal is to show that they are not alone in this fight. We will mourn for the lives lost, but fight like hell for the living. (list in formation)

  • Destination Tomorrow
  • Bronx Trans Collective (BTC)
  • Trans PAC
  • Community Kinship Life (CK Life)
  • New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG)
  • Translatina Network
  • The NYC Equality Coalition
  • Harlem Pride
  • Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund
  • Ali Forney Center
  • Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club
  • Immigration Equality
  • Make the Road NY (MRNY)
  • NYC’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center
  • NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer
  • Public Advocate Letitia James
  • NYS Senator Brad Hoylman
  • Assembly Member Richard Gottfried
  • Assembly Member Deborah J. Glick
  • Council Member Corey Johnson
  • Council Member Ritchie Torres
  • Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer
  • Council Member Daniel Dromm
  • Council Member James Vacca
  • Council Member Carlos Menchaca
  • Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
  • Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn
  • Human Rights Campaign, GNY
  • Hetrick-Martin Institute
  • Transgender Liberation Project
  • Equality New York
  • The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York (LeGaL)
  • Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC (SDNYC)
  • GMHC
  • Black Lesbian Conference 2018
  • Black Trans Advocacy - NY 
  • Circle of Voices, Inc
  • Depressed Black Gay Men
  • Gatekeepers
  • Global Network of Black Pride
  • LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent
  • NYC Black Pride
  • NYC Pride & Power
  • LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent
  • Rivers of Living Water Ministries
  • Under Our Umbrella
  • Gay & Lesbian Independent Democrats
  • Lesbian and Gay Democratic Club of Queens
  • GLSEN New York City
  • The New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP)