On Aug. 26, the one-year anniversary of the stabbing death of a transgender woman, Tyli'a "NaNa Boo" Mack, members of the local LGBT community plan to offer a memorial event at The Center, the metro area’s LGBT community center.
Transgender Health Empowerment (THE), The Center and Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) are joining to present the remembrance, says local transgender activist Earline Budd. GLOV is also a program of The Center.
Budd, treatment and healing specialist at THE, says she is inviting officers from the Metropolitan Police Department to speak about what progress has been in the investigation of Mack’s stabbing.
“I spoke to [Special Liaison Unit Sgt.] Carlos Mejia, and I’m asking somebody to come and just give us an update in terms of what is going on regarding Nana Boo’s murder. We don’t know anything. On the 26th it will be a year since she was brutally stabbed on R Street,” Budd says.
According to Budd, Mack was escorting another transgender woman to THE when she was attacked that summer afternoon. An unknown, at-large assailant attacked the women with a knife. Mack died of her injuries at Howard University Hospital. The second victim survived.
Budd says she is hoping to use the remembrance, which currently does not have a title, to honor Tyra Hunter too, as 2010 marks the 15-year anniversary of her death.
Hunter, 24, died on a street in Southeast D.C. following a car accident. Her story gained national attention in 1995 when it was discovered that rescue workers had interrupted her medical treatment upon discovering she had male genitalia. Instead of providing treatment for Hunter's severe injuries, rescue workers wasted time making derogatory comments.
“Through her death, it brought about the need to really look at and focus on the continuity of care, health care and services for transgender women,” Budd says.
“The foundation of THE, much of what we came out of, was because of her death.”
Full details of the remembrance event were not available by Metro Weekly deadline. The Center will post details at thedccenter.org. Those interested may also call The Center at 202-682-2245.