It’s only been about a month since I made this video on youtube. Since then there has been another act of violence against a Transgender woman here in Tennessee. It happened Christmas Eve in Memphis. She was shot and the latest news is that she is in critical condition. She is the third in 6 months. After the video is a press release from the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition about the latest incident.
Is this really the country we want to live in? Can’t we as a people do better? How long do Americans have to die because of who they are? Isn’t it sad that every time you turn on talk radio here the only thing you find is right wing and religious programs telling their audiences how GLBT citizens don’t deserve equal rights. They are just throwing more kindling into the fire called Hate.
When you’re thinking about New Year’s resolutions here’s an idea for you. In 2009 how about making a point to find someone who is different from you and have a conversation or a cup of coffee with them. I guess that means I have to go find a southern baptist or some good old boy. jeeze… you know what? I’m going to do that and tell you how it goes. We need to find a way to become the UNITED states again. I look forward to hearing from you about how you reached out to someone “outside of your comfort zone” and how you felt after meeting them.
peace and love,
Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition
For Immediate Release: Dated December 27, 2008
Another Transgender Woman Shot in Memphis
On Christmas Eve, a Memphis television station reported the shooting of Leeneshia Edwards in Memphis. She becomes the third transgender woman shot in Memphis in just six months. At last report, Leeneshia is in critical condition. We extend our hopes and prayers to Leenashia for a speedy recovery.
We also ask for anyone with any information about this latest crime to call Memphis Crimes Stoppers at (901)528-CASH.
The shooting of Leeneshia Edwards helps shed light on a disturbing trend in Memphis. Transgender women who work in the sex industry in order to survive are now being targeted by a pervasive culture of violence.
The indifferent attitude of law enforcement towards the February 16, 2006, murder of Tiffany Berry, and the February 12, 2008, beating of Duanna Johnson by Memphis Police Department officers, has sent a message that the lives of transgender people are not important. This has fed the culture of violence that has permeated the second half of 2008, and is exemplified by the July 1 murder of Ebony Whitaker, the July 28 murder of Dre-Ona Blake, a two year old girl who was killed by the man who had previously been charged with the murder of Tiffany Berry, but was allowed to walk free for two and a half years, the November 9 murder of Duanna Johnson, and now the shooting of Leeneshia Edwards.
This open season on transgender people in Memphis and elsewhere, regardless of whether or not they engage in sex work, must come to an end right now.
We call on business people who refuse to hire transgender people to open their doors immediately to transgender workers so there are alternatives to working on the streets.
We call on shelters that routinely turn away transgender people who are seeking help, to open their doors so that transgender people do not have to live on the streets.
We call on religious leaders who preach intolerance towards crossdressers and transsexuals from the pulpit to cease immediately and begin preaching messages of love and acceptance of diversity.
We call on political leaders of all parties to stop campaigning against transgender people and start supporting fully inclusive employment non-discrimination and hate crimes legislation to show that the lives of transgender people have value.
The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) is an organization designed to educate and advocate on behalf of transgender related legislation at the Federal, State and local levels. TTPC is dedicated to raising public awareness and building alliances with other organizations concerned with equal rights legislation.
For more information, or to make a donation, contact:
Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC)
P.O. Box 92335
Nashville, TN 37209