Metro Weekly

LGBT activists to hold Calif. rally against anti-trans violence

California rally follows news of death of Tamara Dominguez, as death toll among transgender victims rises

Bamby Salcedo
Transgender activist Bamby Salcedo, one of the rally organizers. (Photo courtesy of BambySalcedo.com)

As the number of murders of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals continues to rise throughout the summer, national organizations and their California-based partners are rallying to call for an end to anti-transgender violence. So far, 17 transgender women, including 15 transgender women of color, have been reported killed in 2015. 

The National LGBTQ Task Force, in conjunction with TransLatin@ Coalition, FAMILIA: Trans and Queer Liberation Movement, the Royal Court of Los Angeles and various community leaders, will host a rally at 5 p.m. PST, to call for an end to the violent and lethal attacks against transgender and gender non-conforming people that have surpassed the total number of transgender deaths from last year.

“Nineteen transgender women, transgender men, and gender non-conforming people have been killed this year alone,” Stacey Long Simmons, director of public policy and government affairs for the National LGBTQ Task Force, said in a statement. “The level of violence against transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, in this country is unconscionable and part of a national crisis. …Together, we must continue to stand up against the ongoing systemic oppressions, demand justice and educate the public about the real harm caused by anti-trans violence.”

The count of 19 reported killings comes from statistics from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), which tracks the number of violent deaths of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals in the United States. NCAVP’s count includes the 16 transgender women known to have been killed in 2015, two other homicides of transgender or gender non-conforming individuals where a bias-motive has not yet been established, and 20-year-old Elisha Walker, whose remains were found in Johnson County, N.C., on Aug. 14 but has been missing since October 2014. In November 2014, police found Walker’s car, which had been set alight.

The most recent murder — that of Tamara Dominguez of Kansas City, Mo. — occurred on Saturday. According to local station KCTV 5 News, Dominguez was hit by an SUV in a church parking lot, and then run over at least two more times. National LGBT groups did not become aware of Dominguez’s murder until Monday. 

The Task Force previously launched a public education campaign, #StopTransMurders, last year in order to shine light on the issues facing transgender individuals and the violence that is often aimed at them.

“We are outraged by the continued murders targeting transgender women and gender non-conforming people taking place in California and throughout the nation,” said Bamby Salcedo, a California trans activist and president of the the TransLatin@ Coalition. “We must all do more to protect everyone against violence and discrimination, regardless of who they are. We call on federal and local governments, nonprofit organizations and businesses to join us in stopping these senseless murders.”

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