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On February 12, 2015, Alternet’s Kali Holloway published an article on the recent deaths of transgender women of colour, and the mainstream media’s silence on the issue. Despite activists protesting this issue, violence against transgender women of colour is often widely underreported.

And as Holloway reports, “In cases when news outlets have taken notice, misgendering of the victims—that is, wrongly identifying them as male—has been another problem.”

According to a report referenced by Holloway from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, “almost 90% of LGBTQ homicide victims in 2013 were people of color, 72% were transgender women, and 67% were trans women of color.”

As Marcy Cook reports for the Mary Sue, “when it comes to transgender women of colour (TWoC) the coverage gets worse, it spans all the way from disrespectful at one end to abusive lies at the other and recent tragedies have brought this to light in the worst way.”

For attitudes to shift, Sue states that “the media needs to treat the murder of (transgender women of colour) as a serious crime, report on events accurately and respect the individual’s identity, even if the police or family do not.”

Sources:

Kali Holloway, “Five Transgender Women of Colour Have Been Murdered in the Past Five Weeks”, February 12, 2015, http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/five-transgender-women-color-have-been-murdered-past-five-weeks.

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and hiv-affected hate violence in 2013”, 2014 edition, http://avp.org/storage/documents/2013_ncavp_hvreport_final.pdf.

Marcy Cook, “The Media Aren’t the Only Ones Failing Transgender Women of Colour”, February 18, 2015, http://www.themarysue.com/media-failing-transgender-women-of-color/.

Student Researcher: Taylor Rattray (University of Regina)

Faculty Evaluator: Patricia Elliott (University of Regina)