The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) has learned of the homicide of Keke Collier, also known to friends as Tiara Richmond, a Black transgender woman, killed in Chicago, Illinois on February 22, 2017. She was shot to death while walking near her home. Keke’s homicide is the 4rd reported killing of a transgender/gender nonconforming person NCAVP has responded to in 2017. All four homicide victims have been transgender women of color. Local media reports continue to misgender Tiara, but LGBTQ media sources correctly identified Tiara thanks to advocacy from her friends and local community activists.
“We are heartbroken by yet another violent attack leading to the death of a young Transgender woman of color in our beloved community,” said Lisa Gilmore of Illinois Accountability Initiative. “The humanity and personhood of Transgender women needs to be recognized. As Trans women of color are among the most vulnerable in our communities and our nation, we all must be accountable for their safety and access to opportunities.”
“We are deeply saddened by the death of Keke Collier, and we send our thoughts and condolences to her friends and loved ones,” said Shelby Chestnut, Director of Community Organizing and Public Advocacy at the New York City Anti-Violence Project. “At a time when we are seeing the highest number of reports of homicides of transgender and gender non-conforming people, the Trump administration is rolling back protections for transgender youth. This is totally unacceptable. We need to protect transgender lives at all stages, but especially in youth where they experience bullying, family rejection and violence that affects them throughout their lives.”
NCAVP’s most recent hate violence report, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIVAffected Hate Violence in 2015, recorded 24 reported hate violence homicides of LGBTQ people, a 20% increase from the 20 reported anti-LGBTQ homicides in 2014. Of the 24 reported homicides, 62% of the victims were people of color. Sixteen (67%) of the 24 reported homicide victims were transgender and gender non-conforming. Of the total number of homicides, thirteen (54%) of the victims were transgender women of color.
In 2016, NCAVP responded to the homicides of 23 transgender and gender nonconforming people, the highest ever recorded by the Coalition.
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NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.