Say Her Name
Only four months into 2017 and several Black Trans women have been murdered. Between the media’s lack of coverage of these deaths or their misgendering of the victims it can be very difficult to keep track of the exact numbers. As a cis queer woman of color, I’ve become hesitant to discuss trans issues, not for lack of knowledge but because I feel it’s not my place to do so. By taking up this space as a cis woman, I am taking away the opportunity from a trans person who is far more equipped to provide knowledge on this topic. When I noticed that few people in my POC or Queer friend groups were posting about these murders I became enraged. It’s impossible to fight a war that no one seems to know is going on except for the people it’s targeting.
As a therapist, I try to empower and encourage hope within my clients. These tendencies become far more difficult when I’m feeling hopeless. I lose hope with every news article highlighting a murder. I lose hope with every news article not covering these murders. I lose hope when, even after their deaths, so many women are disrespected, devalued, and thrown away as if their lives never mattered. As if these were not human beings with friends, families, dreams, and goals.
The murders of these women will not go unheard and it’s imperative that we continue to bring light to these tragedies. Below are the following women who have been murdered to date. Join us in remembering their legacies. #SayHerName
- Mesha Caldwell (41) was a hairstylist and makeup artist. She was shot to death on January 4th on a rural road in Mississippi.
- Jaquarris Holland (18) was murdered on February 19th in Monroe, Louisiana and was unfortunately misgendered in the media.
- Chyna Gibson (31) also known as Chyna Doll Dupree frequently performed in drag shows across the country. She was shot to death in a New Orleans shopping center on February 25th.
- KeKe Colliner (24) also known as Tiara Richmond was murdered in Chicago on February 25th. Police are still investigating her death.
- Ciara McElveen (25) worked in health care outreach and was found dead on February 26th with multiple stab wounds in New Orleans.
- JoJo Stricker (23) of Toledo, Ohio was misgendered by the media and the police do not have a suspect or motive for her death.
This list was created through the Mic Uneased Database.
At the Kull Initiative for Psychotherapy we stand in solidarity with our trans and gender non-conforming people. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the victims. The lives of these women are not just a hashtag but a reminder of a much larger problem within our country. We cannot go on silencing these women. We must demand justice. This post is meant to remind you that the fight is far from over. Our work to protect and uplift this community has barely begun. Before you share, like, or comment, ask yourself, what have you done to protect the community of trans and gender non-conforming individuals?
With love, resilience, and validation,
KIP Graduate Intern