I’ve just been reading a news report of what appears to be the murder of yet another trans woman, known only by her first name (Stacey), this time in Point Breeze, Philadelphia. I’ve only seen this one report so far and, as ever, some of the language – mostly from the Police Department’s report – is, well, just plain wrong. Offensive and demeaning, frankly. Really, if someone lives as a woman and is known to her family, friends and neighbours as a woman, why would you want to misgender her?
Usually it’s because of a legal system which is too busted, and those who run it too bigoted and transphobic, to allow for the possibility that, although some women may well be trans, that’s no reason to dehumanise them by denying appropriate documentation. By the look of it, the local PD in this instance is another one which has yet to make that great leap forward into the 21st century, where trans women are treated like the humans we are.
So via the Philadelphia Daily News, the main points (edited for clarity) seem to be:
A [transsexual woman] whom neighbors described as “beautiful” was found dead in her Point Breeze home Monday night by her live-in boyfriend.
Initial reports from police said the victim [...] was found with a pillow case around her neck, but Homicide Sgt. Bob Wilkins denied that yesterday.
He said there were no visible signs of trauma to the victim, such as stab or bullet wounds, but he declined to speculate on a cause of death until an autopsy report is released.
As of last night, police still had not received autopsy results, and declined to classify the death as a homicide.
But several neighbors who said they knew [Stacey] said police on the scene Monday night told them that the victim had been found face-down – either naked or half-dressed in provocative clothing – and that she had been strangled.
Wilkins said [Stacey] was found on the floor of a second-story rear bedroom in her home, on Manton Street near 18th, but he declined to elaborate.
Neighbors described Stacey and her boyfriend, who had lived on the block for less than a year, as a quiet, private couple.
One neighbor who asked to be identified only as Darlene said she would sit on the steps and talk with the victim some mornings while she waited for a cab. She described the victim as “really nice and very friendly.”
Darlene said she remembered watching a hulking, white, bald man leave Stacey’s corner rowhouse sometime before 4 p.m. Monday.
It was several hours later that neighbors said Stacey’s boyfriend came home and ran out of the house screaming.
Police said the victim’s roommate called them to the scene about 9:30 p.m. and flagged them down as they arrived.
RIP Stacey; I hope justice is served against your murderer very soon. My condolences to your loved ones.