Trans woman shot to death in Virginia misgendered in early reports
A transgender woman who was shot to death in December was misgendered in early news reports.
India Monroe was killed in Virginia on the 21st, but she was identified by her birth name in initial news reports.
The 29-year-old’s body was found at her home alongside 37-year-old Mark Gray. There was no sign of forced entry into the home.
Police are treating the incident as domestic, and not a hate crime.
Magen Shannel, a friend of Monroe, reported that at her funeral she had been made to look male, with her hair cut and dressed in a suit. She was also buried under her birth name.
Brittany Marquis, a lifelong friend of Monroe who knew her before her transition, said the funeral would have gone against Monroe’s wishes.
“I know for a fact Monroe would not want to be buried that way,” Marquis said. “She’d want to have her nails done, hair done, looking amazing, because that’s what she liked.”
A friend of Monroe, William Bailey, told Mic that Monroe had identified as a woman since 2009 but was unsure whether her family knew about her trans status.
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Director of the Virginia Anti-Violence Project, Stacie Vecchietti, said that Monroe was the third woman of colour to be killed in the state in the last 10 weeks.
“We’re working hard in the community to support folks while also continuing to work to prevent this violence from happening in the first place,” Vecchietti said.
“Part of that work, in a larger context, is actively working against anti-trans legislation, such as the Physical Privacy Act that was introduced in the Virginia general assembly. Legislation like this reinforces the hate and fear that breeds violence against queer and transgender people in Virginia.”
Friend’s of India have taken to Facebook to commemorate her.
“You were always so sweet and kind you will truly be missed,” wrote one.
“Sleep in peace and thank you for always supporting me socially. I hate that your life ended so brutally and I apologise that the media misgendered you as well,” wrote another friend.