(Dallas) – This morning, news broke that Muhlaysia Booker, a 23-year-old Black trans woman whose brutal assault was captured on video and shared widely on social media last month, was murdered in Dallas, Texas.
TLC@SONG Southern Regional Organizer Kayla Gore issued the following statement:
I am angry, heartbroken, and exhausted by the news of another life taken from our community. Muhlaysia suffered the double violence of a brutal assault and of having video of that assault shared online. Millions of people watched and spread the violence committed against this young Black trans woman, and now she is dead.
I have spent much of my adult life in hospitals or at vigils for my sisters and sometimes not even allowed to grieve our loss due to the lack of family acceptance. Muhlaysia is at least the third Black trans woman to die this past week, after Claire Legato in Ohio and Michelle Simone in Pennsylvania, and one of a long list of anti-trans violence survivors.
Violence against Black trans women is a crisis, and has been for a long time – and nothing seems to change. Last week, Transgender Law Center and Southerners on New Ground released the Grapevine Report showing just how widely violence pervades our lives in the South. 58% of transgender women and femmes surveyed reported experiencing high levels of violence by strangers.
Through all this violence, the report also showed, we survive by relying on each other. In a society that can consume a brutal assault against a Black trans woman to the point of making it go viral, we can only trust in ourselves for solutions and support.
Do not turn away from this violence. Do not simply acknowledge and share. Invest in our community. Believe in and directly support the leadership of Black trans women.
Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating for a world in which all people are free to define themselves and their futures. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation. transgenderlawcenter.org