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Three black trans women murdered in Louisiana within days of each other

At least three black trans women were murdered in Louisiana between Feb. 19 and Feb. 27.

At least three black trans women were murdered in Louisiana over the past two weeks, triggering outrage in trans and queer communities — as well as calls for more media coverage of the violence.

Chyna Gibson (also identified as Chyna Doll Dupree), Ciara McElveen, and Jaquarrius Holland were killed within a span of eight days. McElveen, 21, was fatally stabbed in New Orleans on Feb. 27 after being dragged out of her vehicle, according to the Times-Picayune. Two days earlier in the same city, Gibson, 31, was shot to death outside of a shopping center. On Feb. 19, 18-year-old Holland was fatally shot in Monroe, La., during an argument, according to Mic.


Reports initially identified Holland as male, but Mic spoke to friends who identified her as transgender. A GoFundMe for Holland’s funeral uses both “he” and “she” pronouns.

A warrant was issued for the arrest of Malcolm Harvey in connection to Holland’s murder, but Harvey has not been arrested, police said. No arrests or suspects have been announced in New Orleans, and police said there were no updates at this time.

Trans women of color face a disproportionately high rate of violence and murder. At least seven trans people have been murdered so far in 2017, according to GLAAD, an organization that monitors media coverage of LGBTQ issues. Last year was the most violent year on record for transgender people, with 27 murders of nearly all trans women of color.

Before that, 2015 was the most violent year on record with 21 trans murders of predominantly women of color. Trans murder victims are often misgendered in media and police reports, and many of the incidents aren’t officially identified as hate crimes — so anti-trans violence could be even more common than it seems.

Isa Noyola, a trans activist and director of programs for the Trans Law Center in Oakland, Calif. said violence against trans people is common, but largely unreported. She linked the recent spate of incidents to anti-trans bathroom legislation around the country and the Trump administration’s moves against young trans students.

“I don’t think we can talk about any of those other things without talking about the violence that surrounds trans people,” Noyola said.

In southern areas of the U.S. — where community centers and resources are few and far between — trans people can feel particularly isolated and unsupported in their communities, she said.