I woke up today to a trans Twitter full of devastated trans women mourning the loss of a very beloved sister. Chyna Gibson, a Black trans woman who also went by the drag name Chyna Doll Dupree, was shot and killed outside of a shopping center in New Orleans last night. Witnesses reported hearing ten gunshots. Again, she was initially misgendered in reports of her murder, adding one final insult to her. According to a friend, she was visiting her friends and family in New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras. That friend added, “She was just a really good person. Everyone loved her. This is unnecessary.”
Being trans is a celebration of yourself, but it’s also a constant parade of mourning. It’s living in fear that someone you love will be next, or, if you’re a Black trans woman, that you’ll be next. If you listen to trans women talk about what it’s like being trans, a common thing you hear is that it’s exhausting. And this is true, I’ve said it many times before. Being trans in public is exhausting. Not only because you have to live up to ridiculously and impossibly high standards just to be considered the woman you are, not only because you constantly have to navigate a world where the laws are built to oppress you, and not only because you have to constantly be aware of who sees you as a woman and who sees you as a man and who sees you as a monster, but also because you have to constantly worry. You have to worry each time you go on a date with a guy, you have to worry each time you see a news story about a trans woman, you have to worry each time you go out in public, especially if you’re a Black trans woman.
Another trans twoc murdered last night… #ChynaGibson we remember you. A loved woman in the community who left an honorable legacy. *Sigh*
— Isis King (@MsIsisKing) February 26, 2017
They just killed my sister in New Orleans. I'm not there. My phone doesn't really work in DR, I'm gagging so bad yo
— Amiyah Scott (@KingAmiyahScott) February 26, 2017
— Dr. Hunter (@HunterLourdes) February 26, 2017
— 𝖓𝖆𝖓𝖆 𝖏𝖎𝖇𝖗𝖎𝖑 (@girlswithtoys) February 26, 2017
This fucking sucks. This is the third time we’ve had to report on the murder of a Black trans woman this month alone, and this is the shortest month of the year. In two months we have five trans women murdered, all of them trans women of color. I believe in the power of hope, and I’m hoping that I won’t have to write very many more of these and that Black trans women are able to just live, but realistically, I know that’s not true. We’ll update you with more news as soon as the next Black trans woman is brutally murdered. These are their names, they need to be remembered.
Mesha Caldwell, 41
Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, 28
JoJo Striker, 23
Keke Collier, 24