June 11, 2015 at 2:00 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Anti-LGBT violence group releases annual report

COBALT Awards, gay news, Washington Blade

Two transgender women of color — Kandy Hall and Mia Henderson — were killed in Baltimore last year.

The vast majority of the reported victims of anti-LGBT murders in 2014 were people of color, according to a report the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs released this week.

The NCAVP report notes that 80 percent of the 20 anti-LGBT murder victims who were reported to the organization last year were of color. Sixty percent of them were of African descent, while another 15 percent were Latino. The report further indicates that 15 percent of the documented anti-LGBT murder victims in 2014 were white.

NCAVP notes 55 percent of these homicide victims were trans — and half of those were of color.

“This year’s report again shows that people at risk for the most severe hate violence are at the intersection of multiple forms of oppression and discrimination including homophobia, transphobia, racism and socio-economic discrimination,” said Essex Lordes of Community United Against Violence, a San Francisco-based organization that combats anti-LGBT violence, in an NCAVP press release. “Anti-LGBTQ hate violence can no longer be viewed in isolation from other forms of violence that our community members are experiencing based on their identities.”

The unsolved murders of two trans women of color — Kandy Hall and Mia Henderson — in Baltimore last year left LGBT rights advocates in the Charm City on edge. A third trans woman of color, Lamia Beard, was shot to death in Norfolk, Virginia, in January.

Lourdes Ashley Hunter, co-founder of the Trans Women of Color Collective, told the Washington Blade on Wednesday that the NCAVP report is a “snapshot of the structural and physical violence trans and gender non-conforming people face across this country everyday.”

“Trans and gender non-conforming people of color continue to be denied access to housing, healthcare, employment and educational opportunities placing us at a greater risk for poverty, violence, heighten criminalization, incarceration and detention,” she said. “This is what state sanctioned violence looks like as it is inextricably linked to the physical violence our community endures.”

Ted Heck, a former member of the Virginia Anti-Violence Project board of directors, described the NCAVP report as “upsetting and not expected.”

“The experience of violence, especially among trans people, and especially trans women of color is pervasive in our society,” he said. “I hope that these statistics will move people, organizations, and government entities to action to address the problems that create such a dangerous environment for these marginalized communities.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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