For Immediate Release
August 28, 2009
Contact: Sadie Ryanne Baker
Washington, DC – The DC Trans Coalition (DCTC) joins with our friends, family and community to mourn the loss of a 21-year-old transgender woman, Tyli’a “NaNa Boo” Mack, who was horrifically stabbed on the afternoon of August 26th, 2009. She died in the 200 block of Q Street in northwest Washington, DC, while a second transgender woman was rushed to Washington Hospital Center, where she remains in critical condition.
The incident took place close to the offices of Transgender Health Empowerment, Inc (THE) and reminds us that the lives, health and safety of transgender, transsexual and gender non-conforming people are under siege by hate and ignorance. Attacks such as this one threaten our entire community.
DCTC also calls on the media and the Metropolitan Police Department to be more respectful of the lives and identities of these women and the broader trans community. Too many times, police and media correspondents have failed to accurately identify and respect the gender identities of trans people, in spite of the commonly accepted Associated Press guidelines that clearly state that reporters should use pronouns and names in accordance with the individual’s identity. This disrespect only perpetuates the ignorance that so often fuels verbal harassment and physical violence. Here in DC, we remind the MPD to adhere to its own regulations found in General Order 501:02 “Handling Interactions With Transgender Individuals”, signed by Chief Cathy Lanier in 2007.
As we continue the difficult work of improving the lives of trans people here in the District, we stand in somber solidarity with our community at this time of tragedy. Moments such as these, when we are reminded of the poverty, violence and degradation faced by so many, reinforce the desperate urgency of confronting anti-trans discrimination in all forms.
It also reminds us of the need to stand as a united community against violence. The DCTC will continue working to change policies that affect our community and ensure that organizations, like THE, can provide their vital programs and services in the hopes that one day, none of us will be forced to fear for our lives.
Community members are invited to attend a vigil for the victims, hosted by THE, at the site of the attack – 209 Q Street, NW – at 6:30pm on Friday, August 28.
The DC Trans Coalition (DCTC) is a grassroots community-based organization dedicated to fighting for the human rights, dignity and equal access for transgender, transsexual and gender non-conforming people in the District of Columbia.