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.
Things are going to be rough in the near future, but the long-term outlook is bright. We love you! You matter! We will overcome this together. I know it looks awful, but a lot of us over 30 remember being LGBT even in the late 2000s… so much has changed in the past six years. We weathered the 90s too and everything else before and we did it together. We will again, but we need you. Don’t give up. We’re all here for you.
“2-8 recorded suicides” means that probably over 99% of trans women’s suicides are recorded as male suicides.
What I find strange is that cis lesbians are so concerned about straight trans women’s suffering and lack of representation (the actresses in Sense8 and Her Story are straight). But the straight cis woman suicide rate, and the male-on-straight-female murder rate, while disturbing and important to note as a feminist, wouldn’t concern a lesbian publication.
In the 3 years I’ve been on the margins of the visible Bay trans community, I met 2 gay trans women. Both shunned me for their nonlesbian friends, one of them enjoyed the suffering it caused me. The rest were bi/pan and there were lots of them. Every other gay trans woman I noticed even existing, interacted online or were very marginal like me, and I mean made mind-bogglingly marginal, brief appearances and disappeared into the void beyond the known world before I could say hi, it was socially-formally layers and layers of impossible to talk to them IRL.
That means the murders and suicides being reported are mainly of trans women that are useful enough to be noticed and welcomed by the very straight trans man, and fag-and-hag culture that calls itself the trans community but really isn’t. Gay cis men and fag-con-orientational AMAB trans people are positioned in a very visible and creepily intimate place of power over+inside it. It is extremely lesbophobic there. You are into men, or obsessed with seeming like you are, or you are there because you purely hate your lesbian trans woman body and want to be destroyed or used by nonlesbians.
AFAIK no one buries dead homeless and poor, lesbian, TWoC, unless perhaps they fought for nonlesbian trans people enough, like Marsha and Sylvia, and it was a miracle they were memorialized after having been forgotten for decades. I met a bi TWoC that was in STAR, straight trans women and trans men don’t talk to her either. She’s hilarious and has great puppetmaking skills but, that doesn’t matter, only being beautiful to men does in the trans community.
Not to get off topic, but I know Jen Richards(Her Story) is bi, as is Jamie Clayton.
Rest in power, Noony Norwood. And thanks, Rachel. I just donated to the Trans Lifeline; now I need to finally do something with my body and voice and not just money.
Just to add to the resources list – the Transgender Law Center, based in San Francisco:
They’ve released a statement on the election, which bears reading:
It finishes, at least, on a positive note: “It is unthinkably cruel that we who have survived so much hatred and violence woke up this morning to a society further emboldened to target and demean us. But we are resilient. We are brilliant and beautiful and powerful. We have a legacy of fierce trans leaders whose work we build on. We will continue our work of fighting for liberation, and I believe that we will win.”