Mesha Caldwell, a black transgender woman, is the first reported trans killing of the new year.
According to reports, Caldwell was found dead Wednesday night outside of Canton, Mississippi. The 41-year old was shot and killed by the side of the road, becoming the first reported transgender murder of 2017. Her dear friend, Mary Young, told reporters that she was hurt when she heard people using male pronouns to describe Caldwell, saying, “She always, always dressed like a girl. And as she grew up, she became beautiful just like a lady. I really don’t know why somebody would want to kill her.”
Emily Waters of the New York City Anti-Violence Project released a statement about the slain beautician saying, “This is the first homicide of a transgender person that (we) have responded to in 2017, during a time of heightened fear and increased violence against LGBTQ communities. As we continue to hear more reports of violence, we must remind ourselves that this violence is not normal and fight harder than ever to keep transgender people safe.”
2016 was a record year for anti-trans violence, with an unprecedented 26 murders of trans people reported. Our prayers are with Mesha Caldwell’s family.