Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tyli'a Mack

Once again there has been another murder of a transgender person; this time in Washington, D.C. It took a while for me to find information that her correct name. Thanks to Matt Kailey at the Houston Examiner.

Tyli'a and another transwoman were attacked near the Transgender Health Empowerment offices in D.C. Her companion was injured, but survived. Police are looking into the possibility that this has a bias crime after the survivor reported that her attacker used homophobic language.

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs recently released a report that shows that the incidence of violent crimes against LGBTs continues to rise, up 2% nationally. Whether this represents an actual increase in the numbers of violent crimes against LGBT or an increase in the reporting of these crimes is unclear. Either way, the numbers are staggering.  Questioning Transphobia has a post reviewing recent studies that show that ever third day and trans person is murdered somewhere in the world.

An $25,000 reward has been offered for more information regarding the murder and assault in Washington, D.C. Let's hope that the incentive of this much money brings a quick resolution to this crime.

And as an aside, the reason it was so difficult for me to find the correct name of the victim was due to sloppy reporting by local media and the police. The police are a separate issue, but the media only has to turn to the AP Stylebook to find the correct way to address this issue. It has clear guidelines. A transgender person should be referred to by the name they use and the pronoun that best represents their presentation. Even if the individual in question can't or won't give a reporter this kind of information, they can use the pronoun associated with their presentation. So if Tyli'a dressed as a woman and called herself Tyli'a and not Joshua, then the local media should have picked up on this.  They need to have their errors pointed out and issue corrections.
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