On July 4, black transwoman Deeniquia Dodds was the victim of a gunshot wound to the neck in Northeast, Washington, D.C., and was on life support for nine days before passing away on Wednesday (July 13).
While the visibility of Janet Mock, Laverne Cox, and CeCe McDonald has brought an increased awareness of the politics and struggles of black transgender identity, the rate of violence against black transgender folks remains high.
While authorities have not yet ruled on whether the crime was committed out of hate, according to Mic, “family worried about Dodds’ safety because she was a sex worker,” in addition to her being transgender.
Black transgender women who are involved in the sex trade are especially vulnerable to violence, from clients as well as from law enforcement. In a 2015 report on transgender experiences in the sex trade, transgender sex workers reported mistreatment by police officers at 64.1 percent, and experiencing physical assault at 12.9 percent. Transgender sex workers of color were more likely than white trans women to be “arrested for being trans.”
In a report by Buzzfeed, “there are certainly more homicides of black trans women, because police chronically misgender trans homicide victims–leaving many deaths never accounted for. This pattern can hamper investigations by misidentifying victims and alienating people who could assist.”
In addition to Deeniquia Dodds, here are the names of other black transgender people who have passed this year, according to Autostraddle: Monica Loera, Jasmine Sierra, Kayden Clarke, Veronica Banks, Maya Young, Demarkis Stansberry, Kedarie/Kandicee Johnson, Kourtney Yochum, Shante Thompson, Keyonna Blakeney, Reecy Walker, Mercedes Successful, Amos Beede, and Goddess Diamond.