38-Year-Old Black Trans Woman Alphonza Watson Is 8th TWoC Murdered This Year

According to Baltimore Police, 38-year-old black trans woman Alphonza Watson was murdered this morning. She was found suffering from a gunshot wound to the stomach in the early hours of the morning and was taken to a hospital where she passed away. Watson is the 8th trans woman that we know has been murdered in the United States since January 1st. Seven of those women, including Watson, have been Black. Police don’t have a lot of information, other than that there was an argument and then two men sped away in a car. They are offering a reward for more information.

Just recently there’s been an increase in discussion around whether or not trans women are “real women.” This started largely because of some comments made by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and then continued when she stood by those comments, and then got worse when cis white “feminists” started coming out of the woodwork to write articles about how trans women aren’t women in the way that cis women are. They argue that we’re still male, and that we’re not oppressed like “real women.” They claim that they aren’t being transphobic by saying this and that they still stand up for our rights while they’re saying it. That’s bullshit.

The main reason trans women get murdered is because men are told by society, by the news, by “feminists” that we are not real women. They hear “trans women are women, but really they’re males” and to them that means it’s shameful to be attracted to us. Black trans women are shot and left in the street because the men who are attracted to them and who sleep with them, don’t want to be seen sleeping with a “man.” There’s a straight line from the kind of thinking these “feminists” are saying and the murders of these women. You cannot pretend that you care about trans women’s rights or trans women’s lives if you push forward the idea that trans women aren’t real women. This murder, and the seven others this year alone, show why.

These are the trans women we know who have been murdered this year. They were real women, they lived women’s lives, they were not male and they deserve respect as women.

Mesha Caldwell, 41

Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, 28

JoJo Striker, 23

Keke Collier, 24

Chyna Gibson, 31

Ciara McElveen, 21

Jaquarrius Holland, 18

Alphonza Watson, 38

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Mey Rude is a fat, trans, Latina lesbian living in LA. She's a writer, journalist, and a trans consultant and sensitivity reader. You can follow her on twitter, or go to her website if you want to hire her.

Mey has written 572 articles for us.


  1. This is way past terrifying. This is one of us gone every ten days so far this year and they are just the ones we know about.

    We’ll never know how many of us have been misgendered and dead-named so thoroughly by the press and police that their identities are lost along with their lives.

    I’m scared and I hate being scared. I’m angry and I feel powerless. I want to fight back but everything I can think of doesn’t seem like it’s anything like enough. I feel like we’re at war with an enemy we can’t see.

    I’m ashamed by my relative privilege. I want to use it as leverage but I don’t know how.

    Goodbye Alphonza. You weren’t here long enough. I hope the assholes who stole your life never find peace.

    I’ll remember your name.

  2. Mey, thank you so much for saying their names, for keeping this awful, awful tally. I wish it weren’t necessary. I will keep beating my “protect trans people” drum until things get better.

  3. “There’s a straight line from the kind of thinking these ‘feminists’ are saying and the murders of these women.”

    This is so true, and so heartbreaking.

  4. No woman has the same experience, trans or cis. Why do some “feminists” want to define something for all women? It’s like Orthodox Jews trying to define Judaism for all of us and determine who is and is not a Jew. Fuck that. So much. No one else gets to define me or the life I’ve lived.

    Thank you, Mey. *hugs*

  5. Thank you so much for keep their names in our minds. I have been sharing your articles with my cis friends to make sure they understand what the world looks like for trans people. I can’t imagine how hard writing these articles and tracking down the information for them must be, but they are so very important. Thank you again for your work.

  6. Stop blaming men’s insecurities and actions on women! That’s a place to start. Men need to be made accountable. This hate is wrong on so many levels!

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