Friday, August 5, 2011

Transgender Woman Found Murdered in East Harlem Apartment

Spending the summer on Fire Island can certainly insulate one from the outside world, but news of another transgender person's death provides an all too sobering reminder of the reality that LGBT people continue to confront.

Camila Guzman was found brutally murdered in her East Harlem apartment on Monday, Aug. 1, but news of the trans woman’s death comes less than two weeks after Lashai Mclean was shot to death on a Washington, D.C., street. Another trans woman was shot on July 31 a block away from where Mclean was gunned down.

Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar was found strangled to death in her Queens apartment in March 2010. Karlota Gómez Sanchez is among the 18 LGBT Puerto Ricans who have been killed over the last year and a half.

A report that the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Project issued last month found that 70 percent of known victims of anti-LGBT violence in 2010 were people of color. Forty-four percent of them were trans women.

"Camila Guzman's murder and the series of violent attacks against transgender women of color in Washington, D.C., highlight the disproportionate impact of severe anti-LGBT violence on transgender people of color," said Ejeris Dixon of the New York City Anti-Violence Project in a statement that her organization, the Audre Lorde Project, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force released on Thursday, Aug. 4. "These murders are a wake-up call for all organizations that work to end hate violence. We must work collaboratively to create specific strategies to prevent violence against transgender people of color and to ensure that survivors receive the support they need."

As I have previously reported, there is no easy solution to reducing these disproportionate rates of violence. There is a collective responsibility, however, to ensure LGBT people can safely live their lives with dignity and respect.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for writing about this/these events.

Daniel Ian Smith, New York