Saturday, January 26, 2019

Houston Trans Woman Shot, Misgendered By Houston Chronicle

Anytime and anywhere a trans woman is shot I have a major problem with it.   But when the crap happens in my Houston backyard less than a mile from where I live I take it personally.

A 24 year old Black trans woman known as Pinky was chased Thursday morning through a busy Chevron station parking lot just after 11 AM CST.   The gun wielding miscreant shot at Pinky twice, cornered her by the front door of the gas station located on the corner of Beltway 8 and Richmond Ave in West Houston, and fired three shots at her at point blank range.

She was taken to a nearby hospital in unknown condition.

The surveillance cam video obtained by ABC13 is disturbing and infuriating to watch.

I know that location well because it has a Frenchy's that I love to patronize.   That station because it is on a major street by one of our busy H-town freeways is always busy. 

So somebody saw something or knows something that will lead to the arrest and conviction of this fool.

The approximately 5' 8" Black male assailant wearing a gray hoodie got away in a light colored SUV, possibly a Honda.   HPD is definitely looking for his reprehensible behind.

If you have any information that will expedite that happening, you are urged to call Crime Stoppers at  713-222-TIPS (8477)

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As for Pinky, her Houston trans family will definitely be checking on her to make sure she is okay, and once the waste of DNA is apprehended, stand with her when he is inevitably tried and brought to justice.

What also has me incensed and concerned about about what happened besides the fact it was in my neighborhood is that the Houston Chronicle dipped into the transphobic pool to report on this story.

Note to Jay R. Jordan:  A trans woman is a WOMAN, not a man.    It was not necessary for you to go there and try to justify your transphobia by adding the sentence about Pinky's ID.

I find it interesting you could point out the incorrect ID, but couldn't report Pinky's name 

Another point I need to make is this.  What is or isn't on that ID is not germane to this story.

Houston cis Black community and cis Black community leaders and politicians, several questions for you to ponder. 

When will you FINALLY step up and say it is NOT okay to shoot at or kill Black trans people and act on it?  When will our Black trans lives matter to you?   How many of us have to die this year before you finally conclude that enough is enough? 

And another FYI for you. Black trans Houstonians vote.

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A trans woman was shot and ended up in the hospital as a result of what happened Thursday.   It is infuriating to me and the Houston trans community that once again, instead of respectfully reporting on it like ABC13 did, transphobia was injected into this incident by our main local newspaper.


Tim Lankford said...

Gotta take issue with your assessment. I've worked in local media here, and now work in pr.

To think the Chronicle sent anyone to this shooting is a fallacy.

The reporter would have heard dispatch giving the description taken by the 9-1-1 operator.

That was the basis enough to put a quick story out on

Roughly five hours later, HPD posts the incident report or emails it out with the name, gender (from the driver's license), age, and other identifying information.

The reporter updates the story accordingly, noting the discrepancy between the dispatch call and the incident report.

Who was wrong? Did the 911 operator hear the caller say woman instead of man? Did the caller say woman accidently instead of man? He doesn't know, so simply notes the discrepancy.

ABC13 on the other hand sent a crew to the incident to do a live shot for the 11am news. The reporter then stayed and talked to witnesses, probably some of her friends, and learned she was trans and reported the story accordingly, with no need to rely on the incident report because they, by then, they new who she was independently.

The Chron reporter knew none of thos because he never went to the scene.

Violet Rene said...

Another of our sisters shot! I am praying for Pinky and I am also mad as hell about these hate crimes. Us transwomen are women regardless of ID and we #WONTBEERASED

Tim Lankford said...

The Chron isn't trying to erase her or you. The reporter is writing from two pieces of information: the police scanner information and the follow up incident report from HPD which contradicts the scanner call. Other than that, it's a routine shooting and the gender discrepancy is the thing that makes it stand out a bit, but not enough to pursue a full story on.

This is the nature of the newspaper business right now. They don't have the budget to chase the scanner & cover every shooting.

ABC13 is definitely deserving of accolades for covering it in full and in the respectable manner they did. The only reasons they sent a crew was they needed fresh content for their 11am news, there was a crew close enough to get there quickly, get some facts, get set up and go live.

Trust me when I say this: if all their crews were too far away, they would have relied on SkyEye for visuals and the police scanner for information.

In this scenario, If they thought to run it in a later newscast, I can almost guarantee you the updated story would have misgendered her too.

Unknown said...

That cissexist misgendering and assumptions are institutionally embedded in the reporting workflows rather than an intentional choice is cold comfort. The impact here is devastating and invalidating for trans victims either way. If the process is causing victims to be misgendered the process needs to change. Full stop.

Unknown said...

Why is it when a trans person says something is hurtful, there is a rush to defend the person(s) doing the hurting? This isn't a difficult concept. Thanks for showing us that your feelings of defensiveness outweigh the feelings of a community that is constantly under attack. Thanks for proving once again that the media is completely out of touch with us and our needs.

Unknown said...

Here's what I posted in response to the blog:

This is Danny Hermosillo, Digital News Editor for the Houston Chronicle. We apologize to anyone who feels offended, slighted or disrespected by our coverage of this incident. However, we would like to put the circumstances into perspective and show how it shaped our coverage.

On Thursday, Jan.24, 2019 we heard a report of a shooting at the gas station at Richmond and the West Beltway. Due to limited resources at that time, we were unable to send a reporter to the scene. We contacted the Houston PD Public Information Office, which gave us the details of the call slip, the initial call made to police. It indicated that a woman had been shot at that location. Reporter Jay R. Jordan wrote the story based on that information, which was attributed to HPD.

On Friday, Jan. 25, HPD sent out a follow-up press release, which included the following: "Houston police are investigating the shooting of a man that occurred at 10414 Richmond Avenue around 11 a.m. on Thursday (January 24)."

The release went on to name the victim, including a traditionally male first name. There was no mention in the report explaining why the victim was initially identified as a woman, or that the information identifying the victim as a male came from a driver's license. The police release description of the events even referred to the victim as "Mr." There was no mention that the victim was transgender. In other words, there were no red flags indicating that victim's gender identification was the reason for the description being changed from female to male.

Statements that claim, “The initial report listed her as a woman, but then later in the same report went on to state her gender marker identified her as male" are not accurate, at least not in reference to HPD news releases of the incident. If the report had made such a claim, that would have been cause for further inquiry.

There was no attempt by the Houston Chronicle or to purposely misgender the victim. In fact, we were not made aware of the victim's gender identity preference until reports surfaced here and other social media.

So why haven't we changed the story to refer to the victim as "she" or "her"? Because we have not been able to officially verify it. We contacted the Houston Police Department to see if they could verify that the victim is transgender, identifies as a woman, and is known as "Pinky" or some other name of preference. Since it is the weekend, we have yet to receive confirmation. We are making efforts to reach out to family members or someone with first hand knowledge, but have yet to make contact.

I spoke with Emmett Schelling with the Transgender Education Network of Texas. He understands our situation, and is working with us to find someone who can officially confirm Pinky's identity. He tells me he has yet to make contact either with anyone with first hand knowledge of her gender identification preference.

This is not a question of us having a reluctance to identify her as female. We just have to be sure. What if we were to public ally identify her or anyone else as transgender based on second or third hand accounts. only to find out that person has not come out to family or co-workers? We might do more harm than good. We have however, removed reference to gender from our existing story until we can confirmation. is working diligently with HPD and the TENT to confirm Pinky's preferred gender identity. We will also work with them to do a story on the larger issue of the barriers facing the transgender community in getting official documentation identifying them properly. We will also shed light on crimes against the transgender community in hopes of catching the person who committed this heinous crime.

Again, please accept my apology for any unintended offense or misunderstanding. We will update the story as soon as we get confirmed information.

Danny Hermosillo
Digital News Editor

Unknown said...

Disregard top sentence of above post. Waa copying for email.

Megan said...

Gender is NOT a preference! Horrible word choice again. If it were, I’d prefer to not be trans, but that’s not really an option.

Unknown said...

It's a hate crime that carries a "Special Circumstances" agenda , which most certainly makes Transphobia a marked interest. When did murder become a "... routine shooting," and not worth mentioning. Sir, your tone is reprehensible.

katrina said...

shared and this too will go worldwide quick

Susan Mizrahi said...

Despite your incredible use of spelling and grammar, I'll take your word that you're in P.R. As someone in that field, you should have known to express a modicum of concern for the victim.

Unknown said...

You could actually wait for the evidence that this was a hate crime before just assuming it fyi.

Unknown said...

Why is Pinky not at fault? When you decide to trick and lie to people to get what you want it's no fun when the rabbit got the gun. Men are men not women. Stop acting like being someone is ok. Deal with your demons and stop forcing your sexual preference on people. Stop forcing it on people. Stop forcing it on people. Do you and deal with people that is ok with being transgender people. Give a person the choice to deal with such.