Every week of June this year – a month designated to remember the history and struggle of the LGBT community – a transgender woman of color was found dead.
On June 3, Kandy Hall’s body was found in a field northeast of Baltimore. Eight days later, on June 11, Zoraida Reyes, a 28-year-old Mexican activist involved in Southern California transgender and immigration advocacy groups, was found behind a Dairy Queen. Her death is still being investigated as suspicious. On June 19, the burned body of Yaz’min Shancez, 31, was found behind a dumpster. And on June 26, three days before New York and San Francisco Pride, 28-year-old Tiff Edwards was found shot to death in a suburb of Ohio.
[Lourdes Ashley] Hunter’s speech at the start of the “Anti-Pride” poetry slam captured the feelings of many transgender people of color.
“The mortality rate of a black trans woman is 35 years old,” Hunter said. “I’m not supposed to be here...put that on the cover of Time.”