On July 21, 2015, India Clarke, 25, was found in a park at the University Area Community Center in Tampa, Florida. The black trans woman had been beaten to death.
On July 23, 2015, 66-year-old K.C. Haggard was stabbed on a Fresno, California, street. The transgender woman’s murder was caught on video.
Their deaths pushed the U.S.’s transgender woman murder body count to 11 this year. The other women killed in 2015 are: Papi Edwards (20 years old), Lamia Beard (30), Ty Underwood (24), Yazmin Vash Payne (33), Taja Gabrielle DeJesus (33), Penny Proud (21), Kristina Gomez Reinwald aka Kristina Grant Infiniti (46), London Chanel (21), Mercedes Williamson (17).
In 2014, The Human Rights Campaign counted a total of 13 murdered trans women—all but one of them was black or Latina. And National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reports that in 2013, transgender women were the victims in 72 percent of LGBTQ- or HIV-motivated homicides, and 67 percent were transgender women of color.
— CHERNO BIKO (@ChernoBiko) July 22, 2015
Human Rights Campaign says these numbers constitute a national crisis. “Even as the transgender community experiences historic visibility and increasingly inclusive protections, the reality is that violence and brutality are a part of far too many transgender people’s daily lives—especially transgender women of color,” Jay Brown—who directs the organization’s research and public education programming—told NBC News after Clarke’s murder. “As we mourn the death of India Clarke, we must also work to address the realities that conspire to put transgender people at risk, including high rates of unemployment, lack of healthcare and housing instability.”
The organization has issued a call to action that includes supporting emergency housing initiatives, expanding health care coverage for trans* people, creating job training programs that provide stable employment for at-risk trans* people, improving educational environments for trans* students, and improving law enforcement training when it comes to interacting with trans* people.