JoJo Striker, 23, was found murdered in Toldeo, Ohio last Wednesday. The black transgender woman is the third trans murder victim on record in 2017, all three of which have been people or color, according to Fusion.
2016 was difficult as it became the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States with 27 reported victims. Nearly half of which were Black. Unfortunately, 2017 didn’t take long to show that this tragedy wasn’t left in the past.
Mesha Caldwell, a hairstylist from Mississippi was found murdered 30 miles outside of Canton on the side of the road.
Brandi Bledsoe, 23, is at least the 23rd transgender person to be murdered this year. Her body was found in a driveway in Cleveland by a five-year-old riding his bike with his older brother.
According to the Advocate, Bledsoe’s death was the result of a gunshot wound to the chest. She was found with plastic bags over her head and both hands.
Debates are occurring across the country about bathrooms and how they should be used by people of transgender experience. Some states (like North Carolina) are attempting to pass laws that would require people to use bathrooms that correspond to the gender they were assigned at birth, regardless of how they identify today. Chicago has officially made their stance known – they’ll allow students and faculty to use the bathrooms for the genders they identify with rather than how they were assigned at birth.
On Aug. 17, 2013, James Dixon, 23, met Islan Nettles, 21, in Harlem, New York. The two began to flirt until Dixon learned that she was a transgender woman. According to what Dixon later told authorities, he went into a “blind fury” and attacked Nettles, hitting her twice. The first blow knocked her to the ground. The second time, Dixon hit her as she already lay on the pavement. Nettles died five days later – after falling into a coma. Her death was a direct result of the physical assault from Dixon, according to the New York Times.
“I just didn’t want to be fooled,” Dixon reportedly said in a videotaped statement. Apparently his friends began to mock him for flirting with a woman of trans experience. He blamed the taunting for his decision to beat Nettles to death.
On Monday, April 4 2016, the jury selection began for the trial of James Dixon, the 25-year-old man who was accused of manslaughter and assault in the 2013 murder of Islan Nettles, a 21-year-old black transgender woman.