I just received some sad news from Michael Munson of FORGE about a local woman who was killed in Milwaukee not even two weeks ago.
Chanel (Dana A. Larkin) was murdered on May 7, 2010. The person who killed her was caught and charged. Chanel was an African-American transwoman who was 26 years old. She was killed in the middle of an exchange of sex for money – shot three times, the fatal shot to her head. It was totally a hate-motivated crime. The person in custody who has admitted to killing her has part of their interaction recorded on his cell phone and the violence definitely ensued after she revealed her trans status.
There was a vigil for her a week ago (5/10/10), a fundraiser to help cover burial costs (5/13/10) and a funeral and burial on Friday (5/14/10).
The funeral was attended by 200-250 people and was rich, kind, respectful, honoring of all aspects of who she was. Her family was there (Grandma is definitely the head of the family and the person she was closest to).
Chanel was an active member/leader in SHEBA (a Milwaukee-based organization for African-American MTFs who have emerged from the gay men’s community — and communities of houses and balls).
Today in my Trans Lives class, it just so happens that we were finishing reading Stone Butch Blues in class and discussing Boys Don’t Cry; it’s the day I usually teach TDOR, its origins, the intersectionality of sex work and race with transphobic violence, disclosure/dating issues, the problems of a hegemonic, violent masculinity based on homophobia, and, of course, the utterly crap way these cases are presented by journalists.
I have to remind myself that I teach this stuff so that it will stop.