(UPDATED) Trans woman shot to death in New Orleans

Penny Proud new orleansLEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — The horrid streak of reported trans deaths since TDOR 2014 continues — especially targeted are trans women of color in the United States.

The latest victim is Penny Proud (aka Penny Proud Johnson) of New Orleans who was fatally shot on Feb. 10. Full details are not available since the shooting occurred less than 24 hours from this writing.

UPDATE Feb 12, 2015 — From the New Orleans Advocate: A transgender woman fatally shot this week in Treme appears to have been the victim of a deadly robbery involving two young men, both of whom remain at large, New Orleans police said Wednesday. . . .

Detective Robert Barrere, the lead investigator on the case, said police don’t believe the victim’s gender factored into the killing “at all.”

“We do believe it was a possible robbery,” Barrere said in an interview. “We believe there were at least two suspects involved in the actual homicide, and we’re pretty confident that they were with a larger group before the murder occurred and that the remaining members of the group may have information about the murder.”

He added, “We’d like them to come forward if possible.”


The percentage of trans women of color being murdered is particularly troublesome. I’m reposting my photo array of TDOR victims from the last 3 years to help give you a visual picture.


T/H: Mika Ellen Orzech, Elizabeth Jenkins

Previous trans death: https://lexiecannes.com/2015/02/06/sf-trans-woman-stabbed-to-death-ecuadorian-trans-woman-murdered-in-december/

New Orleans: http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2015/02/10/new-orleans-sees-fifth-trans-woman-color-murdered-us-2015

UPDATE: http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/news/11577084-123/nopd-gender-not-a-factor

Penny Proud new orleanstdor2012x722jpg



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8 replies

  1. Does anyone believe this will ever end? I survived by hiding, if I had not I would be dead. Every single person I knew, my friends, people like me are dead. It is more than a few and I’m only here because I was lucky. Lucky to look good enough, act the cis female part well enough and I guess smart enough to never tell anyone the truth of my life.

    If I thought being out would save the life of even one of these young people I would do so. But I know it won’t.

    We like to think things are better as compared to my time. But they aren’t. Different for sure, but not any safer or better. I don’t know what the answer is, but this war we are fighting is being lost. We are no better accepted now, maybe even less so than 30 or 40 years ago when I was young.

    I only ever attended one TDOR event. It was too much, too sad so I left early. These events don’t bring anyone back and cis people are not moved by them. They barely attract any notice at all. Remembrance days commemorate the deaths of soldiers. We aren’t soldiers, just people, a little different from others.

    I wish someone had an answer.

    Still Lexie, I think you are a brave lady and believe that bringing attention to this will make a difference. I would like to hope your right, but I don’t, certainly not in my lifetime.

  2. Lexie is the only one who regularly reports on these murders and, looking at the above visuals, I’m wondering if skin has anything to do with it. These murders have been predominantly women of color. Marginalized in life, they’re further marginalized in death. Perhaps their local communities have acknowledged their passing, but for the most part, Lexie is the only national news source that makes any note of it.

    I get the ugly feeling that some of us would rather not address this issue, much less publicly acknowledge it and vehemently condemn it, at least as something other than a political statement. NCTE may track these horrors, but it’s a bit dryly statistical, isn’t it? It takes a certain effort to put a human face on these tragedies, these individual wasted lives that sink without a trace in the larger community and world. How interesting that so many of them appear signified as sex workers, rather than women forced by lack of economic opportunity to earn a living as best as they can.

    Perhaps I’m too cynical. Perhaps I’m too harsh. Surely no one can look at those faces and not care. Nor am I trying to imply that anyone from the trans community would be that callous. But I note that these murders happen mostly because no one was able to care enough while the victims were still with us and thus prevent further additions to the TDOR list, which is now so unwieldy that it takes more than an hour to read through it all. The police for the most part don’t care. The media is given to report these murders with its usual salacious, casual cruelty and misapplication of pronouns. Has anyone ever noticed that the media always finds it necessary to mention the victims’ former gender and identity, as if we needed to know that useless fact? A human being was murdered. Must we always regard their deaths in the light of their putative legal status? I think not. It matters not who you were supposed to be, only that you lived as yourself, marginalized, until your life was brutally taken.

    Follow-up is apparently Lexie’s sole responsibility as well, compounding the dismissal of these women’s existence. One person cannot do this alone. But I don’t see very many other volunteers for this unpleasant task. Thank you, Lexie, for being the only Watch-woman on this particular Wall. Would it be that we had a dozen more like you, else we would not need to count these deaths like so many grains of sand.

  3. Thanks Amber and Michelle Rose for the comments. For the record, Monica Roberts of Transgriot actively and closely reports on the deaths of trans women of color.

  4. I echo Michelle’s comments. What we don’t talk about are all those who die long before there time for so many reasons. Substance abuse, alcoholism, suicide, working in the worst end of the sex trade. In my mind they all amount to murder because so many of us are driven to these things because of the overwhelming pressure to conform to cisnormative standards. I say with no pride that all apply to me and it was only in my middle life that I was able to come to terms with all that.

    And I am one of the lucky ones. A white gal from a middle class family with a decent education. These young ladies of color never had a chance.

    I am aware of Monica Roberts but I find your reporting more balanced and less tinged with self pity and anger. You are to be commended for your work.


  1. Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015: A Reporter’s List | LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS
  2. Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015 | The Politics of Gender
  3. Diaspora Hypertext

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