Dallas police announced that they have charged a 33-year-old man with murder in three killings. Police say they received help from the FBI and the public in apprehending the suspect.
One of those killed was Muhlaysia Booker, 23, who was one of three black transgender women murdered in Dallas in recent months. The Dallas Morning News has reported that Dallas’ transgender community has been on edge lately as a result.
Carmarion D. Anderson is a black transgender woman from Dallas, and the founder of Black Transwomen, Inc. She is also part of the Black Transgender Advisory Council of the National Black Justice Coalition. Anderson says Dallas’ trans community has been greatly affected by the recent murders.
“The community knew these young ladies, and so we’re just very fearful,” Anderson says. “But we’re also trying to be optimistic, and I think that comes from a place of maybe our culture or our faith.”
Anderson says while she appreciates how law enforcement worked to find out who was responsible, there is still a lot left to do to enhance the safety trans Texans. She says the Texas Hate Crimes Act should be revised to include gender expression – there is currently no protection in Texas’ hate crime law for trans people.
“We can celebrate that someone’s been contained, but we can’t celebrate that we’re still going to be disproportionate and marginalized in Dallas, here, among other communities,” Anderson says.
Anderson also says less resources are available for black trans individuals to get the support they need. She says that’s because of stigma.
“We always get the short end of the stick. You know, there’s lack of education, so it doesn’t help us to minimize the stigma. We’re not often the ones being invited to the table to share our narratives and share what we need,” she says.
Anderson wants three things from state and local leaders: including gender identity in Texas’ hate crime law; more employment and housing opportunities for trans people; and for Dallas officials to directly address violence against trans people.
“I think what we’re really looking for is that we, in Dallas, have a zero-tolerance policy as it relates to discrimination, segregation in our city.”
Written by Chloe Bennett.