WASHINGTON— Bailey Reeves, at 17-years-young, and Bee Love, at only 18, became the 17th and 18th trans people murdered in the United States this year. Bailey, a trans woman of color, was found dead in Baltimore, Maryland, over Labor Day weekend. Bee, a Black trans woman, was found with her hands tied, shot and burned to death in her car in Clewiston, Florida. Too many trans women, and especially too many Black trans women are being murdered and it is beyond time that as a community we stand together and call for an end to these heinous acts.
David Johns, Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), released this statement:
“We know that Black women, both trans and cis, face extreme and disproportionate levels of violence. Black trans women being murdered is becoming too common. We must do more than stand silently in solidarity. We must say their names and be called to act. We are not doing enough to ensure that all members of our community are able to live happy, healthy, and whole lives.
“Supporting trans and cisgender women alike, is more than quoting from popular television shows or reposting on social media. We must supplement those actions with sustained and meaningful civic, political, and community action that ensures that Black women girls, both trans and cis, are protected in principle and in practice. A critical first step toward meaningful action is having asset-based, stigma-free conversations about these issues and opportunities.
“NBJC developed the Words Matter Gender Justice Toolkit to facilitate uncomfortable and, at times, difficult conversations that can save lives. This specific toolkit has been designed with the goal of ending the violence that Black women and girls—both cisgender and transgender—as well as gender nonconforming people experience simply as a result of who they are and how they exist in the world. We hope that this resource will be helpful to those who desire to honor the lives and legacies of our sisters by doing more to ensure that Black trans women and girls can thrive.”
Learn more about violence against transgender people in the US in 2019 here.
by MELANIE NATHAN