Activists say transgender killings are rising

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Concerns About Crime in Transgender Community


Just this Saturday, Tamara Dominguez, a woman who had come to the United States from Mexico to protect herself from discrimination, was brutally murdered in Kansas City, Missouri. The unnamed assailant hit her with a vehicle and ran over her body several times. Activists believe that Dominguez's death was motivated by transphobia, and now there is growing fear that, despite more visibility for trans men and women in the media, killings and violence aimed at the transgender community are on the rise.

The New York Times reports that there have been 17 murders of transgender men and women reported this year alone, most of which have occurred during the short few months of summer. In 2014, by contrast, there were 12 killings of transgender people recorded. The paper spoke with Kris Hayashi of the Transgender Law Center, who said that increased visibility of the crimes is beneficial but that the statistics are alarming. Mr. Hayashi said that recent media coverage had brought increased visibility to each victim, but that the killings reflected an "ongoing" state of crisis for the community. Transgender women of color are disproportionately targeted.

Transgender youths show hardships, resilience:

14 PHOTOS
Transgender youths show hardship, resilience
See Gallery
Activists say transgender killings are rising
In this photo taken June 18, 2015, Ro Brown, 23, poses for a photograph as he waits in a Greyhound bus station in Miami, with his wife, not pictured, for a bus to Macon, Ga. Brown, who identifies as a transgender male, has been homeless for six years, and has not yet told his family about his gender identity. He is moving to Georgia to live with his wife's family, where they hope to find work and move into their own place. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this photo taken June 11, 2015, Eli, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., poses for a photograph at the beach in Dania Beach, Fla., on Thursday, June 11, 2015. Eli, who now identifies as a transgender male, went through a lot of soul searching, anxiety and depression growing up, before coming to accept himself as who he is. Eli dropped out of high school and is an activist with Food not Bombs. He is also interested in working with the transgender homeless population. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this photo taken June 11, 2015, Eli, 17, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., poses for a photograph walking along the beach in Dania Beach, Fla. Eli has found growing up to be a painful struggle, one that's been at odds to define his gender identity. Born a girl, he has struggled with depression: "I would look in the mirror and just hate my chest. And just try to squish it down. And just like sob for hours, like I was a little kid." (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this photo taken June 10, 2015, Nikki Rose, 18, who identifies as a transgender female, poses for a photo next to a mural at Survivors Pathway, a non-profit that provides support for LGBTQ youth in Miami. Nikki dropped out of high school where she says she was harassed by her teachers and considers herself fortunate to have support from her mother, saying "the only thing calming me down from depression is my mother." Because she has been in fist fights and verbally abused by men on the street, she carries mace, a Taser and a knife. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this photo taken June 6, 2015, Andii Viveros, 21, of Davie, Fla., applies makeup as she prepares to host the annual Sun Serve LGBTQA Colors of the Wind youth prom in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Viveros, who identifies as a transgender female, said she was always different from an early age growing up as a boy. Her parents accepted her to be anyway she wanted to be. She fought for her rights in high school, sometimes violating the school's code of conduct by wearing dresses. She was elected prom queen in high school and is now studying sociology in college. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this photo taken May 26, 2015, Kassandra Leach, 17, left, poses for a photograph with her mother, Renee Taylor, at their home in Miami. Leach, who identifies as a transgender female, says she never felt like one of the boys, and once in ninth grade she began experimenting with clothing, dressing more like a girl. In high school she lived her life secretly as a girl for over a year. Now out to her family and friends, she is transitioning with the help of counseling and hormones. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this photo taken May 20, 2015, Atticus Ranck, 26, of Sunrise, Fla., who identifies as a transgender male, poses for a photograph in a hammock at a friend's apartment in Sunrise, Fla. Ranck first came out as a lesbian at age 17. Once in college, he became more masculine, describing the transformation as relatively easy. Ranck, who is taking hormones and has had surgery on his chest for the transition, just graduated with a master's degree in women, gender and sexuality from Florida Atlantic University. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this photo taken May 20, 2015, Atticus Ranck, 26, of Sunrise, Fla., who identifies as a transgender male, poses for a photograph in his bedroom in Sunrise, Fla. Having grown up as a girl in Pennsylvania, the 26-year-old came out as a lesbian at 17 and gradually became more "masculine" after he moved to Florida for college. Ranck, who is taking hormones and has had surgery on his chest for the transition, just graduated with a master's degree in women, gender and sexuality from Florida Atlantic University. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this photo taken May 18, 2015, Jess Fajardo, 18, of Miami, who identifies as transgender, poses for a photograph at a park near his home in Miami on Monday, May 18, 2015. Fajardo was born a girl, but describes himself as a tomboy growing up, playing soccer with the boys. He views gender identity as fluid, but now is more comfortable being seen in a male setting. Fajardo recently graduated from high schools and plans to pursue a college degree in art. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this photo taken May 14, 2015, Alex Ramos, 13, who identifies as a transgender male, poses for a photograph in a park near his home in Homestead, Fla. Ramos realized in sixth grade he wasn't at peace with his biological female gender. He struggled to come to terms with it, afraid of how people at school would react. Ramos has since come out, and has the support of his mother and friends. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this photo taken May 1, 2015, Kassidy Suarez, 22, who identifies as a transgender female, poses for a photo in her bedroom in an apartment she shares with her mother in Miami. After coming out at 15, first as a gay young man, and then at age 17 as a transgender woman, Kassidy dropped out of high school, met rejection by her family and ended up homeless. She spent several years on the streets, dabbled with drugs and engaged in survival sex work. With the help of Project SAFE, Suarez found housing, counseling and a support network. She is now focused on getting her GED. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this photo taken April 29, 2015, Theodore Xander Frey, 18, of Cutler Bay, Fla., who identifies as an agender male, poses for a photograph in his bedroom at home in Cutler Bay, Fla., on Wednesday, April 29, 2015. Frey began questioning his identity at a young age, facing a tumultuous few years suffering from depression, running away from home, and being placed into psychiatric care. He has since been accepted by his parents and is coming to terms with himself. Frey is attending college in the fall to study women and gender studies. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
In this photo taken Dec, 17, 2014, Kassidy Suarez, 22, is hugged by her mother, Maria Alguilar, after legally changing her name at family court in Miami. Suarez has come a long way since being rejected by her family, dropping out of high school, being homeless, abusing drugs and doing survival sex work. She is now focused on getting her GED. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Activists have begun tweeting photos of murdered trans people in an effort to raise awareness over what Laverne Cox called "a state of emergency" in the trans community. In a statement on Thursday to the Times, Cox argued that trans women of color are positioned at the "intersection of multiple forms of violence which are also about race, misogyny, poverty and a system that reinforces the fallacy that we shouldn't exist and don't exist."

In an effort to raise awareness, European organization Transgender Europe launched the Trans Murder Monitoring Project in 2009, complete with an interactive map that shows the names, ages, and details of the murders of trans people across the world. The organization's reporting reveals that there have been "1,731 reported murders of trans and gender variant people" since 2008 alone.

As Tamara Dominguez's name gets spread through social media, there have been no arrests yet in relation to her murder. Police say they are searching for a dark Chevy Avalanche.

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners