LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — A body found near a community center basketball court in Tampa, Florida this week is that of trans woman India Clarke.
While the cause of death is still not known, there was blunt force trauma to the upper part of her body. At this writing there are no further details or suspects.
UPDATE: Oct 27, 2015 — A suspect has been arrested in the murder: Keith Lamayne Gaillard. The victim died from a gunshot wound to the head.
This story came to my desk by the way of blogger Monica Roberts who asked of African-American cis brothers and sisters: “When will #BlackTransLivesMatter? When will your trans brothers and sisters see ministers and politicians decry the loss of these lives as loudly as you do for cisgender Black people?”
Both Monica Roberts and Carlos Maza of Media Matters made note of the Tampa-area mainstream media wholesale, and perhaps deliberate, misgendering of the victim. In common with many of early mainstream news headlines was: “Man in a dress.”
Maza: The cycle at its worst seems to be the same: a transgender person is found dead, law enforcement officials fail to acknowledge the victim’s gender identity, and local news outlets follow law enforcement’s lead, misgendering the victim despite often knowing how the victim wished to be publicly identified.
But failing to report the way Clarke is publicly identified deprives audiences of the information they need to understand her death in the broader context of violence against transgender women. In instances where misgendering is intentional, it’s a statement that her gender identity is little more than a deceptive costume, not worthy of being taken seriously.”
T/h also to Gabrielle Langmore
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