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Weeks Before Transgender Day of Remembrance, HRC Mourns T.T.; Trans Woman Found Murdered in Chicago

Yesterday, Windy City Times reported that a transgender woman named T.T. was found murdered in Chicago’s Garfield Park this past weekend. Reports say she was well-known in Chicago’s transgender community; her friends recalled T.T. as a “lovely” and “happy, cheerful” person who was always laughing.

T.T.’s friends held a vigil for her on Monday night. Including T.T., at least 18 transgender people are known to have been murdered in the U.S. this year. The majority of these victims, including all the deaths in August, have been transgender women of color.

Also, during a court hearing yesterday, a Jackson County, Miss., sheriff’s deputy revealed horrifying details in the death of Dee Whigham, a 25-year-old transgender woman of color who was killed on July 23 in St. Martin, Mississippi. According to the autopsy results, Dee was stabbed a 119 times. The findings, reported two months before Transgender Day of Remembrance, highlight the need to address the ongoing epidemic of anti-transgender violence.

The suspect, 20-year-old Dwanya Hickerson, has been charged with capital murder in Whigham’s death and is being held without bond. Dee was a registered nurse at a hospital in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and was visiting St. Martin to attend the Gulf Coast Black Rodeo with friends and co-workers, according to the Sun Herald. She was killed at Best Western Plus Cypress Creek hotel.

These are just two of several recent incidents of deeply disturbing, deadly violence against transgender people.

To learn more about the realities that conspire to put transgender people — especially transgender women of color — at risk of fatal violence, read HRC’s 2015 Addressing Anti-Transgender Violence report, released in partnership with the Trans People of Color Coalition (TPOCC). The report also details solutions that can be pursued by policymakers, advocates and public and private sector leaders to address this national crisis.