By Emily Waters, Senior Manager of National Research and Policy
So far in 2017, The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) has received reports of 21 LGBTQ lives taken by non intimate partner related fatal violence, a nearly 70% increase in the number of reported homicides this time last year. By this time last year, NCAVP had received 12 reports of non intimate partner violence related homicides of LGBTQ people. Of the 21 lives taken in 2017, 10 were black transgender women, 1 was a native transgender and two spirit woman, and one black non-binary transgender person. In addition, thus far in 2017, five LGBTQ lives have been taken by intimate partner violence.
In the last three weeks alone, NCAVP learned about the loss of Kenne McFadden in San Antonio, Texas; Ralfie Reyes in Houston, Texas; Earl English in DeKalb, Georgia; Matthew Murrey in Hyattsville, Maryland; Kevin Wirth in Lansing, Michigan; and David Swartley in Elkhart, Indiana.
We do not know the exact reason for this disturbing increase in homicides in 2017. But what we do know is that LGBTQ people and other marginalized communities continue to report experiencing bias motivated violence and that the fear of this violence is only increasing.
Let us continue to support LGBTQ people in our lives by calling out homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, racism, and other forms of oppression whenever we see it so that no one will have to live in fear of violence.
Let us all commit to preventing violence by advocating for more affirming and loving work environments, homes, schools, and relationships.
Let us celebrate the brilliance of LGBTQ communities and demonstrate our commitment to a world free from all forms of bias motivated violence.
We mourn the lives that our communities have lost in 2017 and before, and send love and light to their friends and family.
Below are all the names of the LGBTQ lives taken by fatal violence in as of June 8th, 2017
Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow
Keke Collier / Tiara Richmond
Chyna Doll Dupree / Chyna Gibson
Lisa Dawn Fuillerat
Mark J Morrison
Rafael (Ralfie) Reyes