Four transgender black women have been killed this week
Four transgender black women have been murdered in the US in just the past week – and activists are blaming the Trump administration.
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programmes, which tracks crimes against transgender people, has documented seven murders so far this year.
Last year there were 23 homicides of trans and gender nonconforming people, the highest figure recorded by the organisation.
Trans women are being targeted at a higher figure in 2017 than in past years, the group has reported.
Two of the murders happened in New Orleans, Louisiana, over the space of three days, with Ciara McElveen stabbed and another black trans woman, Chyna Gibson, shot. Jaquarrius Holland, another Louisiana resident, was also murdered.
And exactly a week ago in Chicago, Keke Collier, also known to her friends as Tiara Richmond, was gunned down while walking near her home.
Emily Waters, manager of the Anti-Violence Project, said: “As we face an administration which devalues the safety and rights of transgender people and people of color, we must work tirelessly to support transgender friends, family, and community members.”
Of the murders so far this year, Keke Collier’s is the only one which can legally be treated as a hate crime, as it alone took place in a state which protects the rights of trans people in this way.
New Orleans-based transgender activist Syria Sinclaire told the Anti-Violence Project: “We should have the right to live our lives open and free and not be taunted and traumatized by the general public if they don’t approve.”
Shelby Chestnut, director of public advocacy for the group, said the news came at a time when “the Trump administration is rolling back protections for transgender youth,” which she said was “totally unacceptable.
“We need to protect transgender lives at all stages, but especially in youth where they experience bullying, family rejection and violence that affects them throughout their lives,” she added.