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Crime

‘Bubbly’ Black woman ‘proud to live her truth’ is the 34th trans person killed in the US in 2021

Josh Milton August 14, 2021
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Miss Coco

Miss CoCo. (Facebook)

Fear has seized Dallas, Texas, after Black woman Miss CoCo was slain near a camp for transient people as violence against trans people in the US continues to accelerate.

Miss CoCo, a 44-year-old described by those who knew her as a high-spirited woman “proud to be living her truth”, was shot in the camp in downtown Dallas at around 10pm 7 August, Dallas’s NBC affiliate reported.

In the 500 block of Park Avenue, between Marilla and Young streets, Miss CoCo was found by Dallas Fire and Rescue. She succumbed to her injuries at a nearby hospital.

CoCo was known to frequent encampment areas with others who experienced homelessness, Nu Trans Movement, a local trans rights group, said in a Facebook post which said “the city is mourning” her killing.

A “well-known small girl with a big, bubbly personality”, the organisation said, Miss CoCo “was a happy person [and] proud to be living her truth”.

The Dallas Police Homicide Unit is investigating her death as a hate crime unless evidence to the contrary emerges.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Frank Serra at (214) 671-4320 or [email protected], or Crime Stoppers at (214) 373-TIPS (8477).

The case number is 141396-2021.

Miss CoCo’s death spurs activists to call on people to ‘stop the violence and stigma’

Amid what both president Joe Biden and the American Medical Association have dubbed an “epidemic of violence” against trans Americans, activists and trans locals alike are left grappling not just with grief, but what the death of yet another trans person means.

Miss CoCo is at least the 34th trans, non-binary or gender-conforming to have been violently killed in the US this year alone, according to estimates by the Human Rights Campaign, which has been monitoring the slayings.

The organisation notes that such a figure, already dizzying in its height, still fails to grasp the true extent of the hostility the trans community faces.

Deadnaming and misgendering remain rife in police and press reports around trans homicides, often leaving it to grassroots groups to comb them and talk to community leaders to learn a victim’s gender identity.

In nearly seven months the community has mourned: Tyianna AlexandraSamuel Edmund Damián ValentínBianca BankzDominique JacksonFifty BandzAlexus BraxtonChyna CarrilloJeffrey ‘JJ’ Bright, Jasmine Cannady, Jenna Franks, Diamond ‘Kyree’ SandersRayanna PardoDominique LuciousJaida PetersonRemy FennellTiara BanksNatalia Smüt, Iris SantosTiffany ThomasJahaira DeAlto BalenciagaKeri WashingtonSophie Vásquez, Danny HensonWhispering Bear Spirit, Serenity HollisOliver ‘Ollie’ TaylorThomas HardinPoe BlackNovaa Watson, Aidelen Evans, Taya AshtonShai Vanderpump and Tierramarie Lewis.

In the death of Natasha Keianna, investigators have not ruled out homicide, but details remain sparse at the time of writing. Haven Bailey was also fatally shot by police in May.

“We continue to witness a high level of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people, especially Black and Brown trans women,” Tori Cooper, who helms the HRC’s Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, told PinkNews in a statement.

“We urgently need action to stop the violence and stigma against trans and gender non-conforming people.

“Everyone must speak up and get involved in their communities to work to bring this violence to an end.”

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