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March 3, 2020

OAESV Calls for #JusticeforAlexa and Support for Trans People of Color

OAESV

CW: Transphobia, Racism, Violence, Murder

The Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence demands #JusticeforAlexa and calls for support for Trans Women of Color. On Monday, February 24th, Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, better known as Alexa, was killed in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. Her community members and those who knew her well remember her as humble and noble.[1]

Alexa was weary of the world and walked the streets with a mirror in her hands, looking over her shoulders for fear of being attacked daily. She was displaced, having been kicked out of her home over five years ago. The day she was murdered she entered a McDonalds with the same mirror in her hands that she carried for years.

Two men and one woman not only called the police over Alexa using the women’s restroom, they also harassed her and posted transphobic lies on social media. The community called for violence against her on Facebook Live, which resulted in her being followed and attacked. She was killed hours later.

She was reportedly murdered on her birthday.

We must recognize that transphobia kills. Disproportionate violence towards Trans Women of Color starts early, where LGBTQ youth are 120% more likely to experience youth homelessness.[2] Many factors contribute, including family violence and being kicked out of their homes. Additionally, as seen in this case, social media is a tool that many communities use to identify and support Trans Communities but also to target, harass, and dehumanize Trans Women of Color. According to reports, at least 26 Transgender individuals were killed in 2019 across the United States and Territories[3]. This is an epidemic, where Trans Women of Color have an estimated life expectancy of 30-35 years of age. We recognize that transphobic violence and murder continues to be underreported as victims are often mis-gendered, dead named, or not recognized by law enforcement.

OAESV calls for #JusticeforAlexa and Transgender communities, particularly Trans Women of Color, who experience disproportionate discrimination, harassment, and violence.[4] The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has reported on the increase in hate crimes and murders of Trans Women of Color in their report “A Crisis of Hate”, citing the rollbacks of LGBTQ-inclusive policies, amplified discriminatory practices, and escalated hate violence against Trans Communities of Color, in particular Black and Latinx Trans Women.

We call on Ohio to come together in support of Trans Women of Color. In order to address all kinds of gender-based violence we must continue to resist racism and transphobia within our communities, organizations, legislation, and beyond. We call on all advocates, aspiring allies, and accomplices to remember the names and honor lives of Trans people killed. We call on Ohio to directly support organizations lead by and for Trans People of Color to support the work being done to create resiliency, survival, and cultural change.

Organizations lead by and for Trans People of Color in Ohio:

We also encourage you to support Marsha P Johnson Institute, led by Founder and Executive Director Elle Hearns, from Ohio. We are growing our awareness on Trans POC led organizations in Ohio. If you know of another organization, we would love to hear from you. Please email info@oaesv.org to recommend an organization to be added to this list.

 

In Love and Community,

Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence

 

[1] Caso de Alexa expone transfobia, sinhogarismo y faltas en salud mental, Por Lyanne Meléndez García Miércoles 26 de febrero de 2020, a las 06:26

[2] Serving our Youth 2015: The needs and Experiences of lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Youth Experiencing Homelessness, June 2015

[3] Violence Against the Transgender Community in 2019, HRC

[4] 2017 Crisis of Hate Report, National Coalition of Anti Violence Projects

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