It’s not even March as I write this, and already seven trans women have been brutally murdered this year. At least seven, that is—doubtless there are those women who just “disappeared” or remain unidentified.
On Monday night, 26-year-old Ciara McElveen was stabbed to death in New Orleans, where she had been celebrating Mardi Gras. Just two days prior, another transgender woman, Chyna Gibson, a.k.a. Chyna Doll Dupree, was shot 10 times in the same city.
“Trans women don’t want any special privileges,” said Syria Sinclaire, a friend of McElveen. “We should have the right to live our lives open and free and not be taunted and traumatized by the general public.”
Police in New Orleans do not believe the two deaths are connected, but there’s no denying the epidemic violence afflicting trans women of color: The homicide rate in America is 1 out of every 19,000. For black transgender women, that number is 1 in every 2,600.
In 2016, there were at least 26 transgender people who died from violence in the U.S, the highest on record. At this rate, we’ll break that in July.
Below are the seven transgender women whose murders have been confirmed.
Jaquarrius Holland (Brown), 18, was shot in the head in Monroe, Louisiana, on February 19.
Her death marks the second killing of a transgender woman in Chicago in six months.