Feature image via Deeniquia Dodds Facebook
The devastating trend continues: Today, NBC News reported that Black trans woman Deeniquia Dodds was shot in Washington D.C. on the fourth of July. Deeniquia, known as “Dee Dee” to her friends, was taken to the hospital where she was kept alive on life support for ten days before passing away yesterday. According to Dee Dee’s Facebook page, she attended Woodson High School in the greater D.C. area and graduated in 2012. She was 22 years old.
LGBT rights activist and family spokesperson Earline Budd told NBC: “Her murder reminds us all of how often the transgender community is targeted for violence in our society.”
Indeed, Dee Dee became at least the 15th trans person murdered in the United States this year, adding her name to the following heartbreaking list.
Monica Loera (Austin, TX), 43 years old
Jasmine Sierra (Bakersfield, CA), 52 years old
Kayden Clarke (Mesa, AZ), 24 years old
Veronica Banks Cano (San Antonio, TX) 40 years old
Maya Young (Philadelphia, PA), 25 years old
Demarkis Stansberry (Baton Rouge, LA), 30 years old
Kedarie/Kandicee Johnson (Burlington, IA), 16 years old
Kourtney Yochum (Los Angeles, CA), 32 years old
Shante Thompson (Houston, TX), 34 years old
Keyonna Blakeney (Washington D.C.), 22 years old
Reecey Walker (Wichita, Kansas), 32 years old
Mercedes Successful (Haines City, FL), 32 old
Amos Beede (Burrlington, VT), 38 years old
Goddess Diamond (New Orleans, LA), 20 years old
Dee Dee Dodds (Washington D.C.), 22 years old
While transgender rights and representation move slowly forward in this country, trans people continue to be targets of political scapegoating. This year’s Republican National Committee platform, which began publicly taking shape this week, has added amendments to deny trans people the right to use restrooms that match their gender identity and apparently uses regressive and combative language to describe both gay and trans people.
The longer this power-grabbing false propaganda continues against trans people on a national stage, and the longer pop culture portrayals of trans people continue to perpetuate harmful stereotypes, the harder it’s going to be to stop the dehumanization that fuels this pandemic of violence — particularly because the majority of trans people who are murdered are Black trans women who are forced to live at the terrifying intersection of racism and transmisogyny.
Our Trans Editor, Mey Valdivia Rude, added that it’s time for cis people to step up when they say that trans rights are having a moment right now.
Things are supposed to be getting better. Cis people are noticing us and writing about us and making TV shows and movies about us. But really it just seems like things are getting better for our “allies.” Trans people, mostly trans women of color, and again, mostly Black trans women who sleep with men, are being murdered at a higher rate than any measured year before. It’s hard to look at all the articles being written about how this is our time and our moment in history and not explode in anger when so many of our Black and Brown sisters and elders aren’t being allowed to see this “historic moment” happen by the same cis society that is supposedly giving us this moment right now. Trans people, trans women of color, Black trans women need to be protected, prioritized and not fucking murdered.
Here is a list of 24 actions you can take right now to help trans women of color survive.
A vigil to honor Dee Dee will be held near her family’s home in the courtyard at 5255 Clay Terrace NE on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Deeniquia Dodds. Say her name.