Vigil for Murdered Transgender Woman to be Held at Montgomery City Council

Vigil for Murdered Transgender Woman to be Held at Montgomery City Council

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Keyonna Blakeney
Keyonna Blakeney

Trans United Fund, the recently formed political advocacy organization, will join Casa Ruby, TWOCC, Baltimore Transgender Alliance, and others Friday evening, April 20, 2016, at 6 p.m. at the Montgomery County City Council (100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville) to honor the life of Keyonna Blakeney, a 22-year-old trans woman who was brutally murdered on April 16, 2016.

The murder of Blakeney is one of several reported recently. Last week, just a few months after anti-LGBT advocates successfully worked to repeal Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, 34-year-old transgender woman Shante Thompson was fatally shot in Houston.

“The endemic of violence against trans people continues unabated, and we fear could only increase given the viscous attacks on trans people nationwide by anti-trans politician and organizations,” said Ruby Corado, Executive Director at Casa Ruby LGBT Community Center in Washington, DC. “We all must take a stand to hold the police, public officials and the media accountable and do their jobs investigating and reporting this murder and others. We will continue to advocate for greater protections and resources for our trans family.”

“Part of Trans United Fund’s mission is helping increase the capacity of transgender organizations and visibility for the many issues trans populations face, from violence to poverty to homelessness,” said Monica Roberts, a founding member of TUF. “We are proud to stand with Casa Ruby and all of the organizations fighting for the lives and safely of transgender people across the country, from Washington, DC to Houston, TX and anywhere we are targeted.”

Violence and hate crimes against transgender and gender non-conforming people is a serious issue. The most recent comprehensive violence/homicide stats can be found in the National Anti-Violence Project’s (NCAVP) 2014 study.

Most recently, researchers identified a four-year trend in which trans women and LGBTQ people of color experienced a greater risk of homicide than LGBTQ people and HIV-affected communities as a whole. There were 20 homicides in 2015, according to NCAVP’s data, with 80 percent being people of color and 11 transgender women of color.

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