Three cases of crimes against transgender persons suddenly jumped to the surface of my news feed. We try here at Transas City not to focus too much on single crimes, for two reasons. First and foremost, many in the community have “tragedy fatigue,” in that they already fully know and have experienced hatred against themselves and our people, and they don’t need to keep seeing news reports of another dead transperson. Secondly, early news reports also carry with them a high level of speculation, “he-said-she-said,” and uncertainty. And outside of opinion pieces, we deal in as much hard fact as possible here at Transas City.
In our first story of this police blotter, WDSU News reports that a New Orleans transgender woman was attacked and robbed, and manages to misgender her as well during the reporting. However, the primary topic of the article is not about anti-transgender hate crimes (even though the police say the crime was due to “sexual orientation[sic]”), but about the growing Hispanic community and its relations with the African-American community in New Orleans. My reaction?
Our next story involves a 15 year-old transgender girl whose crime against humanity was that she was trying to ride on the subway in Washington, D.C. Having ridden on the Green Line myself, I can say it’s not really that seedy of a place to be, especially at 4:30pm. The story thus far:
Metro Police have arrested and charged 24-year-old Reginald Anthony Klaiber with bias-motivated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the stabbing. They apprehended Klaiber at the Fort Totten station as he was attempting to flee the scene. Officers also recovered a 3.5-inch folding knife.
Metro spokesman Dan Stessell says the girl was stabbed once in the back and taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Witnesses told Transit Police detectives that the suspect made bias-motivated remarks about the victim’s transgender status immediately prior to the assault. The charges against Klaiber include the possibility of enhanced penalties for hate/bias motivation.
I mean good grief, why? You just have to seriously, seriously question the utility of keeping a person in society who just walks up, taunts a transgender girl, then stabs her – in public, in front of multiple witnesses, in a heavily policed area. That’s stupid, evil, AND crazy.
The final news item we have for you is one we will hear about in this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance. Specifically, an arrest has been made in the Fort Meyers, Florida murder of transgender woman Eddie James Owens. Owens was apparently murdered, and then her body was burned to attempt to prevent identification. Apparently the victim knew her accused killer, and there was bad blood between them. The problem is, when you’re transgender having “bad blood” between you and someone else may very well result in your blood which is spilled.