Last year was the deadliest year on record for transgender Americans, with 27 homicides reported. And so far in 2017, there have been six deaths, most recently two Black women in New Orleans Chyna Dupree ad Ciara McElveen.
Chyna Doll Dupree, also known as Chyna Gibson, was shot to death on Saturday night near a shopping center in New Orleans. According to the Times Picayune, neighbors reported hearing eight to ten gunshots. Dupree’s body was found at 8:30 p.m. and died on the scene.
Dupree’s aunt told the Times Picayune that her niece was a drag performer who toured in shows around the country.
Dupree’s aunt described her as a “very loving person. She didn’t do nothing to nobody.” A friend echoed those sentiments “She was just a really good person. Everyone loved her. This is unnecessary.”
Then yesterday, Ciara McElveen, another Black trans woman was stabbed to death in New Orleans.
McElveen’s body was found by police in New Orleans’ 7th ward and taken to the hospital where she later died from her injuries.
Police believe McElveen was stabbed in a car.
Syria Sinclaire, a member of the New Orleans trans community who worked with McElveen doing outreach for the homeless told Mic, “I’m so thrown right now.” Sinclaire said she was distraught to learn of Dupree’s death this past weekend that she was afraid to leave the house.
She continued, “Trans women don’t want any special privileges,” she said. “We should have the right to live our lives open and free and not be taunted and traumatized by the general public if they don’t approve.”