NCAVP mourns the death of Sasha Wall in Chesterfield County, SC

NCAVP mourns the death of Sasha Wall, a black transgender woman of 29 years, in Chesterfield County, SC. According to reports, a passing motorist found Wall in her vehicle on the side of the road. Unfortunately, it was too late as she succumbed to her injuries from being shot several times.

Media outlets initially misgendered and deadnamed; we have reached out to request an update to accurately reflect her gender identity. Investigators say she may have known the shooter who is still at large at this time.

Misgendering and/or deadnaming can attribute to the misreporting, or lack of reporting, of deaths of transgender people and hate violence related incidents.

The loss of Sasha Wall marks the 8th reported death of a transgender person and 5th transgender person of color in 2018.

We send our love to her family and loved ones.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

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.

NCAVP mourns the homicide of Giovanni Melton in Henderson, NV

NCAVP mourns the death of Giovanni Melton, a 14-year-old gay Black teenager who was killed on October 2nd, 2017. According to media reports, Giovanni was fatally shot by his father, Wendell Melton, over Giovanni’s sexuality and the fact that Giovanni had a boyfriend. His former foster mother, Sonja Jones, said: “Giovanni was abused physically and mentally and spiritually for many, many years.”

We mourn the loss of Giovanni Melton, who at 14, is the youngest LGBTQ person we have lost to hate violence and domestic violence this year, and send love and care to his friends and loved ones. Giovanni was remembered as a selfless friend who brought joy to everyone he met, and we are saddened that such a young light has been lost.

We must work to create and protect safe, supportive, and affirming environments for LGBTQ youth at all points in their lives. And we must do the difficult work of reaching out to the people we know and love in order to address the homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia that persists in our communities of color and other marginalized identities.

In memory of Giovanni Melton.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. Read the full list here.

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.

NCAVP mourns the homicide of Candace Towns in Macon, GA

NCAVP mourns the death of Candace Towns, a Black transgender woman killed in Macon, GA, on October 31, 2017. Candace Towns is at least the 26th transgender and gender-nonconforming person killed in 2017. According to media reports, Towns was found fatally shot after being reported missing earlier that weekend. Police are investigating her death as a homicide, though the investigation is still in its early stages. Media reports initially misgendered and dead-named Towns.

We mourn the loss of Candace Towns, and send love and care to her friends and loved ones. “If I needed anything she would give it to me. She would give me the clothes off her back,” said Malaysa Monroe, remembering Candace’s kindness and generosity.

In memory of Candace Towns.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. Read the full list here.

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.

NCAVP mourns the homicide of Jaylow Mcglory in Alexandria, LA

NCAVP mourns the death of Jaylow Mcglory, a Black transgender woman, who was killed on August 4, 2017. According to media reports, 29-year-old Jaylow had been fatally shot multiple times, and police are investigating her death as a homicide. A suspect, 20-year-old Desmond Harris, has been charged with second-degree murder. Early media reports initially misgendered Jaylow, and little information is available about the circumstances of her death.

We mourn the loss of Jaylow Mcglory, and send love and care to her friends and loved ones. “All of us need to be working to keep transgender people safe in our communities, and to support our trans friends and family members as they grieve and heal,” said LaLa Zannell, Lead Organizer at the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

In memory of Jaylow Mcglory.

If you are in the Louisiana area, NCAVP member organization BreakOUT! is available as a resource to you. Call (504) 522-5435 or visit www.youthbreakout.org for more information.

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.

A message from the Executive Director: We must work to better support our LGBTQ youth

Dear friends,

We are heartbroken and disturbed by the tragic and fatal stabbing that occurred on the morning of Wednesday, September 27 at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx. We mourn the death of Matthew McCree and hope for the recovery of Ariane LaBoy. Our hearts go out to Abel Cedeno, the families of all three of the youth involved, and the entire school and neighboring community in which the lives of so many have been irrevocably altered by this tragedy.

We call on the mayor and school officials to respond swiftly to this tragedy: not only to the fatal stabbing, but to address the bullying that appears was an integral part of this fatal incident, and work to create a safer and healing environment for the future. According to recent news reports, Cedeno’s family and friends have said he was the victim of anti-gay bullying since the start of the school year, and in fact had been bullied since middle school. We know all too well that bullying, harassment and other anti-LGBT violence in schools causes serious harm to the students targeted.  According to GLSEN, 57.6% of LGBTQ students feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation, and 43.3% because of their gender expression, resulting in 42.5% of LGBTQ students who reported that they did not plan to finish high school, or were not sure if they would finish, or indicated that they were considering dropping out because of the harassment they faced at school.

We do not believe that the addition of metal detectors is the real solution to this tragedy, and caution against responding to this incident of violence by increasing the policing and potential criminalization of our youth, especially youth of color. We strongly believe that all three youth involved are victims who needed the support and action of the adults around them to intervene, and we hope we can move forward without further demonizing them in this moment.

This stabbing has come on the heels of the news of the horrific murder of 17-year-old Ally Lee Steinfeld, in Missouri, which occurred in early September as a result of transphobia and dating violence. And we just learned of the vicious attack on Kylie Perez, a young transgender student at East Side High in Newark, which also occurred on school grounds. This news comes at a time when we are seeing a significant increase in hate violence towards LGBTQ people and others both locally and nationally. Last month we released a report, Crisis of Hate, to bring attention to the fact that at this point in the year, we have already recorded the highest number of hate violence-related homicides of LGBTQ people in our 20-year history of tracking this information.

It’s clear that as a country, and in community, we must work to better support our youth during some of the most vulnerable and important times of their lives, and to address the climate of hate against LGBTQ people, people of color, immigrants and others that is growing at an alarming rate. We need to work to ensure that our schools—as well as other public spaces—are affirming and safe environments for young people of all identities, and that school officials and teachers are well equipped to address and prevent bullying and other forms of anti-LGBTQ violence. We call upon our communities to address not only the symptoms of violence as it plays out in our homes, schools, and workplaces, but to address the underlying root causes that fuel this violence, like racism, transphobia, homophobia, and more. And we call upon our communities to seek restorative and healing responses to violence that offer support, not punitive measures, to all in need.

AVP offers our support to students, family members and school officials in addressing and healing from this tragedy. Our hotline and counseling services are available any time to LGBTQ youth who may be experiencing anti-LGBTQ violence, and to those who are trying to support those youth.

Until we are all safe and free,

Beverly Tillery

NCAVP mourns the death of Ally Lee Steinfeld, in Texas County, MO

NCAVP mourns the death of Ally Lee Steinfeld, a transgender teenage girl killed in Texas County, Missouri, on September 5 2017. According to media reports, Ally, who was 17 years old, was brutally assaulted and killed by four suspects, aged 18, 18, 24, and 25, who are all now in custody. Though details of the incident are still emerging, reports indicate that Ally had been in a relationship with one of the suspects, 24-year-old Briana Calderas.

We mourn the loss of Ally Lee Steinfeld, who had just come out as transgender earlier this year and was beginning to live her truth and fully express herself. That she died in such a brutal way is utterly tragic. We must work to create and protect safe, supportive, and affirming environments for transgender and gender non-conforming youth at all points in their lives and gender expression, and through mentorship and leadership, offer trans youth the support and love they need to live their truths. At the same time, we must also remember to support the cis partners of TGNC folks and work to prevent this kind of dating violence, especially among youth. Loving someone shouldn’t ever be stigmatized. We all deserve and are capable of healthy, supportive relationships, no matter who we are.

“We are here to support Ally’s family and will continue to lift Ally’s name in love and light,” said Melissa Brown, of the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project.

In memory of Ally Lee Steinfeld.

 

If you are in the Missouri area, NCAVP member organization the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project is available as a resource to you. Call (816) 561-0550 or visit kcavp.org for more information.

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.

NCAVP mourns the possible hate violence homicide of Derricka Banner in Charlotte, NC

NCAVP mourns the death of Derricka Banner, a Black transgender woman who was shot and killed in a vehicle early Tuesday morning, September 12th, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  According to a statement by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, Montavious Sanchez Berry, age 18, has been arrested and charged with murder, armed robbery and shooting into an occupied vehicle. So far in 2017, we have lost 21 transgender and gender non-conforming people to homicide, and of that number, 18 have been transgender women of color.

We mourn the loss of Derricka Banner, and send love and care to her friends and loved ones. “All of us need to be working to keep transgender people safe in our communities, and to support our trans friends and family members as they grieve and heal,” said LaLa Zannell, Lead Organizer at the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

Though we ask our allies and community members to pledge #IWillNotStandBy when witnessing violence on public transportation or on the street, we also know that it can be very dangerous to intervene, and that every incident of violence is different. Learn how to intervene safely, and be sure to assess the situation before intervening. Visit #IWillNotStandBy to learn tips on bystander intervention.

In memory of Derricka Banner.

 

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.

NCAVP mourns the intimate partner violence related homicide of Mike Collins in Birmingham, AL

NCAVP mourns the death of Mike Collins, who was found dead in his apartment on August 21st, 2017. According to media reports, he had been killed by D’kota Chance Griffin, with whom he had had a prior romantic relationship. Though much isn’t known about the motive of the attack, police say that it occurred after a physical altercation between the two men. Griffin has been charged with Collins’s murder and taken into custody. Collins was remembered by hundreds in a candlelit vigil held on the 22nd, the day after his body was found.

We mourn the loss of Mike Collins, who is the 10th LGTBQ victim of fatal intimate partner violence NCAVP has counted this year, and send love and care to his friends and loved ones, especially the Odenville Middle School community, which counted him as family. Though not often talked about, intimate partner violence (IPV) affects lesbian, bisexual, and gay people at the same or higher rates than non-LGB people. And yet, LGBTQ people continue to experience discrimination and violence when accessing care and support around relationship violence.

The overlap of hate violence and intimate partner violence is often very large, and that hate violence may be internalized or externalized and enacted in different ways. We must work together to support each other as a community, and help support those who might be in abusive relationships, and we must also work to enrich our narratives and models of what healthy, loving LGBTQ relationships look like: not only in terms of love for community and individuals but in terms of self-love, as well.

In memory of Mike Collins.

If you are in the Birmingham, AL area, NCAVP member organization The Free2Be Safe Anti-Violence Project is available to support you. Get in touch at (205) 202-7476 or find out more at http://free2be.org/free2be-safe.

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.

NCAVP mourns the hate violence homicide of Kiwi Herring in St. Louis, MO

Kiwi Herring was killed in St. Louis, Missouri on August 22nd, 2017. According to media reports, Herring was experiencing escalating discrimination and harassment from neighbors. Police responding to the scene of the most recent disturbance shot and killed Herring, who may have cut or stabbed her neighbor. Some of Herring’s other neighbors held a candlelight vigil at the scene to protest this other recent fatal shootings by St. Louis police. Vigil attendees openly questioned whether police had targeted the correct aggressor in the dispute. At a second vigil and protest held in Kiwi’s honor, a driver named Mark Colao intentionally drove his car into the gathering.

The majority of survivors reporting hate violence to NCAVP member programs in 2016 experienced violence by someone they know, including landlords, neighbors, employers, and family members.  We must work to create safe spaces in our communities, residences, workplaces and schools so that LGBTQ people can survive and thrive.

We send love and light to Kiwi’s wife, family and friends, and acknowledge and appreciate the courage and commitment of her neighbors in holding vigils on her behalf.

In memory of Kiwi Herring.

If you are in the Missouri area, NCAVP has three member organizations that are here to support you. 

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.

NCAVP mourns the hate violence homicide of Gwynevere River Song in Waxahachie TX

NCAVP mourns the death of Gwynevere River Song, a transfeminine person who identified as femandrogyne and who used “they” pronouns, who was fatally shot in her home on August 12th. Little is known about the motive or perpetrator of their homicide at this time, though police have a suspect in custody.

We mourn the loss of Gwynevere River Song, who is the 17th transgender person we have lost to fatal violence this year. Gwynevere was remembered by many on an online tribute page, where friends from all over wrote of her kindness, creativity, and advocacy. “Your smile could light up a room and will forever be etched in my memory,” wrote one friend. Another friend wrote, “Gwyn was fiercely intelligent without ever being condescending, passionate and compassionate, and had a wicked sense of humor. Sending love to everyone who knew her well. I hope you can find comfort in how much she meant to so many people.” Gwynevere was remembered in a loving memorial, coordinated by Trans Pride Initiative and Gwyn’s mother.

We see again and again that transgender people, especially transfeminine folks, are disproportionately and overwhelmingly affected by hate violence, and that this violence is all too often fatal. This cannot go on. We call upon our communities of many identities to embrace our transgender members and support each other through economic empowerment and narratives of strength and love. We must work to provide empowering and affirming spaces for transgender and gender-nonconforming people, both in public spaces and in our workplaces, schools, and homes.

We send love and care to the friends and loved ones of Gwynevere River Song. Friends have suggested donations to Trans Lifeline in her memory.

In memory of Gwynevere River Song.

If you are in the Dallas, TX area, NCAVP member organization Trans Pride Initiative is available to support you. Get in touch at (214) 449-1439 or find out more at tpride.org.

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.