Noony Norwood of Richmond, VA, a trans woman of color who had just turned 30 a few days ago, was shot on Hull St and died of her injuries in the hospital the next day. Richmond police have “released a photo of a person of interest in the case;” the investigation is ongoing.
Zakia McKensey of the Nationz Foundation, which does health and wellness work for LGBTQ populations in Richmond, says she considered Noony her family, and that she “spent her days bringing love to everyone she encountered.” From Nationz Foundation’s official statement:
‘Noony’s energy always brightened the room. She cared about her community and always lifted up and supported her friends and family’, said Zakia McKensey, Founder and Executive Director of Nationz Foundation and long-time friend of Noony’s. Stacie Vecchietti, Director of the Virginia Anti-Violence Project, added, ‘We have lost yet another beloved member of our community to violence. This is a deeply painful and personal loss for many. It is also a reflection of the painful realities of transphobia, homophobia, biphobia, and racism that permeate our everyday environments and relationships and results in LGBTQ+ individuals of color being disproportionately impacted by violence.’
The foundation also expressed their hope that police and media would “respect Noony’s identity and maintain a level of decorum and understanding when interacting with her family and other individuals who identify within transgender and non-conforming communities.”
With Noony’s violent and tragic death comes a horrific milestone: the US has already passed last year’s previous marker of 22 trans women killed, and it’s only November. What’s more, we can expect to see an increase in violence against trans women (and especially trans women of color) after this year’s presidential election. Attention and action around the epidemic of deadly violence towards trans women of color is more important now than ever, as we’ll only see it heightened in the coming months. Already, we’re also seeing an increase in suicide and self-harm, with “two to eight” confirmed suicides of trans youth according to Guardian journalist Zach Stafford. The Trevor Project, which provides a crisis hotline for LGBT youth, says hotline traffic has doubled. The Trans Lifeline phone line says the number of calls to them has been “record-breaking.”
If you need support, you can contact the Trans Lifeline at (877) 565-8860 in the US or (877) 330-6366 in Canada. The Trevor Project can be reached at 1-866-488-7386, and they also have text and chat lines. The general National Suicide Prevention Hotline for the US can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.
In terms of other resources for trans people, lots of forces and resources are mobilizing to support trans people especially around legal changing of names and gender markers as well as obtaining legal documents like passports as soon as possible, anticipating that trans people may be blocked from doing so soon. The hashtag #TransLawHelp on Twitter is a place to locate resources, advice and legal professionals who may be able to help pro bono. There’s also a website being built around the Trans Law Help conversation, Trans Law Help Online. Here are the TransEquality.org resources for getting a passport and a social security card name change. If there are other resources that people should be aware of, please feel free to share them in the comments! Take care of yourselves and each other.