Transgender woman found dead in Cleveland misgendered in early reports
A 32-year-old transgender woman was found dead in Cleveland in a homicide attack.
Initial reports identified the victim as a male, which caused outrage in the transgender community.
Friends and family quickly had media reports updated and use the victims real name, Brandi “Chill” Bledsoe.
Cleveland.com reported that the woman was found with head trauma with plastic bags covering her head and hands last Saturday.
Bledsoe’s cousin John Cragget told Cleveland.com that Bledsoe “wasn’t very outgoing” before she came out about her trans identity.
“She just wasn’t happy with who she was. When she told us, she was honestly a lot better as Brandi. She was happy.”
He added: “She was really beautiful. She was really sweet and nice. That’s what bugs the crap out of me about this. Whoever did this can rot in hell.”
Mic reported that the Cuyahoga County medical examiner is recording Bledsoe as male.
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Emily Waters from the The New York City Anti-Violence Project said: “We are deeply saddened to hear about the loss of Brandi Bledsoe. We continue to send our thoughts to those who have been impacted by the loss of Brandi.”
“We are at a loss, but know that we must continue to say the names of all of the transgender and gender nonconforming people that we have lost, and we must keep working to keep transgender women of colour safe.”
“We ask that everyone call out transphobia when they see it and support and listen to transgender people, so that they know that they are a vital part of our communities and that their lives matter,” she added.
Laverne Cox declared a “state of emergency” last year, due to the increasing death rate of trans women in America.
However, 2016 has now become the deadliest year on record for transgender women with Bledsoe becoming the 23rd victim on record.
A black transgender woman shot and killed in Alabama hotel room at the end of last month. Jazz Alford was also misgendered in early reports.