Woman murdered in New York adds to already record-high violent death rate of trans people in 2020

The Ali Forney Center in New York City announced the death of their client, Alexandria Winchester, earlier last week to conclude 2020.

“This week we learned that one of our clients, Alexandria Winchester, a young transgender woman of color, was murdered on the streets of our city,” the Center wrote in posts online.

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“The details about her murder are still emerging, and it is believed she knew her murderer. We do not know whether she was targeted because of her identity.”

Winchester was mourned by the Human Rights Campaign as the 44th murder or violent death of a transgender and gender non-conforming in 2020 — at least.

The Center’s post continues, “We are shattered, but our dedication is not broken. We are working with our community partners to host a vigil.

“As we mourn this loss, we continue our fight for trans lives, and we hold space for our trans coworkers and clients to bring light to her life and death, to say her name, to hold community, and to affirm that trans lives matter and trans lives are beautiful.”

The Advocate reports that Winchester is Latinx, adding another Hispanic person to the list of an already majority Black & brown list of killed transgender people of color. It is believed that she was shot.

“Alexandria mattered to her community and to the world. The loss of another transgender person in 2020 is devastating,” HRC Associate Director of the Transgender Justice Initiative Lindsey Clark said in a statement.

Clark added, “Last year was the deadliest year for fatal violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people that we have ever tracked. This is unacceptable. We must all come together and work to bring this violence to an end.”

The previous high number of murdered or that the HRC tracked was 31 in 2017, but, as they always note, “too often these deaths go unreported — or misreported.”

Named for Ali Forney, a gender non-conforming youth shot to death in 1997, the Ali Forney Center’s mission is to provide LGBTQ young people housing and a continuum of supportive services.

Launching in 2002 with “just six beds in a church basement,” they are now the largest agency dedicated to LGBTQ homeless youth in the country. They provide “over 70,000 meals annually, medical and mental health services through an on-site clinic, and a scattered site housing program.”

The Center has been contacted for further details.

 

 


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