Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thinking About The Girls Like Us Who Didn't Get A TDOR Memorial

I had a nice conversation with Gwendolyn Smith yesterday evening (yes, THE Gwen Smith who conceived the TDOR memorial ceremonies and the Remembering Our Dead List).

We talked about a few issues including what it is like being the iconic legendary leaders instead of the wide eyed neophytes we once were back in the 90's.

For a moment our conversation turned to the state of the Transgender Day of Remembrance memorial 15 years later.   After we had that conversation about how we're still doing these events a decade and a half later and marveled at the progress of our human rights movement, she complimented me on the 238 Names post.  

After thanking her, I made the comment about how I wish I'd mentioned something in that post about the trans women who died pre-TDOR.

So I'm going to do that right now. And yeah, there's some trigger warning worthy stuff in this post.

georgette1I'm going to talk about a few trans women who were killed and didn't get their names read at a TDOR memorial.  In some cases their murders were just as graphic, just as filled with mind-numbing rage, over the top violence and transphobic hatred.   They were also murders in which the victims left behind people who loved them unconditionally and cared about them. 

There was the 1980 murder of Georgette Hart.   She was born in Charlestown, and was called 'the most beautiful drag queen in Boston'.

After leaving a bar in the Charlestown area, she was found dead with her throat slashed. But the waste (or wastes) of DNA didn't stop there.  The perpetrator also found the time to mutilate her by cutting off her penis and stuffing it in her mouth before running over her with a car.

There's Terri Williams Moore, who was shot in the head and back by her husband Richard in Lynnville, Iowa on the way back from their honeymoon in May 1976.  She revealed during their honeymoon she'd had SRS and was trans.

I've talked on the blog about Chanelle Pickett's murder 18 years ago today on November 20,1995 in which her killer, William Palmer basically got a slap on the wrist for it.   Her twin sister Gabrielle, who she appeared with on Jenny Jones to discuss being a trans twin, was herself murdered in March 2003.

Speaking of trans twin sisters, Cynthia and Felicia Coffman of Nashville, TN. were both shot to death on July 24, 1977 by Dan Edward Jones.

Leslie Rejeanne, the south side Chicago girl and co-host of the female illusionist shows at The Baton who was one of the first African-American transpeople I saw publicly talk on television about transgender issues.  She appeared on Donahue, Oprah and countless other talk shows during the late 80's-early 90's and  was killed by a hit and run driver.

Debra ForteDebra Forte, the aunt of Ethan St Pierre, who for several years helped maintain the Remembering Our Dead List stats and the list. 

Debra was stabbed by Michael Thompson multiple times with six inch deep wounds in her chest along with being beaten around the head and shoulders on May 15, 1995.   How Ethan did that for all those years I still commend him for considering the circumstances.

Dianne Aubert, who was stabbed 121 times in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada on February 16, 1982.

Crystal Sanchez-Reyes, who died on Christmas Day 1987 because the man who shot her six times at point blank range, Daniel Montenegro Delgado, was upset she was dancing with his brother. 

There was an unnamed transwoman bludgeoned to death in San Antonio in 1991 who body was found partially burned.

Those of you who have seen Paris Is Burning know about the death of Venus Xtravaganza Pellagatti, who was found strangled and stuffed under the bed of a New York City hotel room on December 21, 1988 before the filming of the documentary was completed.     

It's just a small sample of long list of names of people who paid the ultimate price for simply wanting to be their true selves.

And on this day when we will be reading the names and memorializing the people who died due to anti-trans violence in 2013,  I also wanted us to take a moment to think about and never forget the back in the day  girls like us who were killed and didn't get the benefit of a TDOR memorial service.

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