List of unlawfully killed transgender people

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This is a list of notable events where transgender people are known to have died at the hands of others. It is claimed that around the world, one transgender person is murdered every three days.[1]

The list does not include deaths by suicide, accident, and other causes.

1988[edit]

Venus Xtravaganza was found strangled and stuffed under a bed in a New York hotel room in 1988. Her body was discovered by a stranger four days after her death. She was featured in the documentary Paris is Burning.

1993[edit]

Brandon Teena, a 21-year-old trans man, was raped and murdered in Falls City, Nebraska, on 31 December 1993.[2] Two men were convicted of first-degree murder in the incident, which became the subject of the Academy Award-winning film Boys Don't Cry.[2]

1998[edit]

Rita Hester, a transgender woman, was found on the floor of her apartment in Allston, Massachusetts on 28 November 1998. She had suffered multiple stab wounds and later died at the hospital.[3]

2002[edit]

Gwen Araujo of Newark, California (died October 2002), an American teenage trans woman, was killed by four men, two of whom she had consensual sexual actions with, who beat and strangled her after discovering she was anatomically male.[4][5][6] Two of the defendants were convicted of second-degree murder,[7] but not convicted on the requested hate crime enhancements. The other two defendants pleaded guilty or no contest to voluntary manslaughter. In at least one of the trials, a trans panic defense - an extension of the gay panic defense - was employed.[7][8]

2003[edit]

Nireah Johnson was an African American trans woman who was murdered in Indianapolis, Indiana by Paul Moore, who was initially sexually attracted to her and then discovered that she was transgender.

2008[edit]

Larry King of Oxnard, California, was a gay or bisexual[9] 15-year-old eighth-grade student who was shot to death at his school on 12 February 2008. He wore gender variant clothes, jewelry and make-up[10] and had come out as gay at school.[10] King was bullied and teased by his fellow students due to his effeminacy and openness about being gay, having come out at ten-years-old and while in the third grade.[9] On the morning of 12 February, Lawrence was in the school’s computer lab with 24 other students. Fellow student, fourteen-year-old Brandon McInerney was witnessed repeatedly looking at King during the class. At 8:15 a.m, McInerney shot King twice in the head using a handgun.[11] King was declared brain dead the next day but kept on a ventilator to preserve his organs for donation.[10] Prosecutors charged McInerney as an adult with murder as a premeditated hate crime and gun possession.[10] The crime was reputed to be the most high-profile hate crime case of 2008. Newsweek described it as "the most prominent gay-bias crime since the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard", bringing attention to issues of gun violence as well as gender expression and sexual identity of teenagers. On 21 November 2011 McInerney pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and use of a firearm. He will receive 21 years behind bars, with no credit given for time served prior to the trial and no credit will be given for good behavior. He will initially serve his sentence in a juvenile facility and then be transferred to prison upon turning 18.[9]

Angie Zapata was a trans woman who was murdered on 17 July 2008, in Greeley, Colorado. Her death was the first ever case involving a transgender victim to be ruled a hate crime.[12] Colorado is one of only eleven states that protect transgender victims under hate crime laws in the United States. Allen Andrade, who learned eighteen-year-old Angie was transgender after meeting her and spending several days with her, beat her to death with a fire extinguisher. In his arrest affidavit, Andrade calls Zapata "it",[13] and during his trial a tape was played of a phone conversation in which he told his girl friend "gay things need to die".[14] Andrade's attorneys used a gay panic defense, implying that Andrade suddenly "snapped" when he learned Zapata was not born biologically female. On 22 April 2009, Andrade was found guilty of first degree murder, hate crimes, and car/ID theft. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.[15]

2011[edit]

Dee Dee Pierson was murdered on December 24, 2011. Kenyon Jones confessed to the murder, telling police that he had paid Pierson for sex and when he found out she was transgender, he became angry and killed her. [16][17]

2013[edit]

Dwayne Jones, murdered in Jamaica.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Balzer, Carsten (2009). "Every 3rd day the murder of a trans person is reported" (3). 
  2. ^ a b Chris Summers, The victims of prejudice, BBC News, 26 December 2003
  3. ^ De Jong, Lynda (19 February 1999). "Police seek information in Allston slaying". The Boston Globe. p. B5. 
  4. ^ McElroy, Steven (19 June 2006). "What's On Tonight". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 July 2010. 9 P.M. (Lifetime) A GIRL LIKE ME: THE GWEN ARAUJO STORY 
  5. ^ Wollaston, Sam (27 May 2005). "Body politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2010. 
  6. ^ Marshall, Carolyn (13 September 2005). "2 Guilty of Murder in Death of a Transgender Teenager". The New York Times. p. 20. Retrieved 19 July 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Zak Szymanski (15 September 2005). "Two murder convictions in Araujo case". Bay Area Reporter. 
  8. ^ Shelley, Christopher (2 August 2008). Transpeople: repudiation, trauma, healing. University of Toronto Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-8020-9539-8. Retrieved 19 July 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c Setoodeh, Ramin (19 July 2008). "Young, Gay and Murdered". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 22 July 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008. 
  10. ^ a b c d Cathcart, Rebecca (23 February 2008). "Boy’s Killing, Labeled a Hate Crime, Stuns a Town". New York Times. Retrieved 21 November 2008. 
  11. ^ ""GaySoFla.com remembers Lawrence "Larry" King - A Young Hero"". Miami Herald. 19 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008. 
  12. ^ Spellman, Jim (23 April 2009). "Transgender murder, hate crime conviction a first". CNN (DENVER, Colorado). 
  13. ^ Whaley, Monte (31 July 2008). "Transgender victim referred to as "it"". The Denver Post (Greeley). 
  14. ^ "Trial hears 'gay things must die' tape". Logo (Greeley, Colorado: 365gay.com). 21 April 2009. 
  15. ^ "Transgender murder, hate crime conviction a first". CNN. 23 April 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  16. ^ Jindasurat, Chai (20 November 2012), Transgender Day of Remembrance; Remembering Dee Dee Pearson, retrieved 29 October 2014 
  17. ^ Aegerter, Macradee (4 October 2012). "Man Sentenced in Transgender Murder Case". WDAF-TV (KANSAS CITY, Missouri).