A Houston transgender activist has launched a petition calling on the Obama administration to investigate the murders of transgender women of color.
Monica Roberts (right), who blogs at TransGriot, launched the petition Monday in the wake of the murder of Amber Monroe (shown above via Laverne Cox on Instagram) in Detroit, who was at least the 12th transgender person killed in the US this year. That equals the total number of transgender people murdered in the US in all of 2014.
Roberts notes that most of the victims have been transgender women of color, and many have been under 30. Her “We The People” petition must garner 100,000 signatures by Sept. 10 to get a formal response from the White House.
From the petition:
Since January 9, 2015, twelve (12) Transgender women, mostly women of color, have lost their lives due to hate and Transphobia. Eight of these beautiful lives were lost in the first two months of the year. With such a high death toll, something must be done to raise awareness and end the senseless killings of a targeted, vulnerable community.
For Transgender women of color, safety is a real and warranted concern. We are asking the administration to raise awareness and take action to keep this community safe, by conducting a formal investigation of these deaths occurring across the county to the targeted community of Transgender women, particularly women of color.
Please take action to ensure this community does not have to live in fear of losing their lives to hate and violence.
On the same day that Roberts launched her petition, the 2015 transgender death toll may have risen to 13.
Dallas police on Monday identified a badly decomposed body they discovered last month as 22-year-old Shade Schuler (right). From The Dallas Morning News:
“The victim was wearing a blue-and-white cotton tube top with straps, blue shorts and black Nike flip flops,” according to a release from the department. “The victim was also wearing a black wig and sunglasses. The victim had false fingernails with what appeared to be diamond studs on them with pink tips.”
Dallas police, who say they have little information about Schuler’s murder, didn’t immediately respond to a message seeking comment about the victim’s gender identity.