Kiesha Jenkins, a 22-year-old transgender black woman, was found murdered in the city of Philadelphia on Tuesday in what some are calling further evidence of a “state of emergency” for transgender women in the United States. Jenkins is the 20th trans woman in the U.S., and the 19th transwoman of color, to be murdered so far this year.
Philadelphia police say Jenkins was attacked by five to six men and then shot twice in the back after she exited her car, according to The Advocate, an LGBT newspaper. She died within minutes.
Police are continuing to investigate the crime and whether Jenkins’ gender identity was a factor.
Jenkins’ murder highlights what leading activists in the transgender community have called a ‘state of emergency’ for transgender women.
“The violence against the trans community, specifically transwomen of color, is an absolute, widespread national problem,” said Nellie Fitzpatrick, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter’s liaison to the LGBT community, according to Autostraddle. “And the problem isn’t solved by solving each homicide after it happens. The solution is in our society — making sure that any level of stigma or lack of access is completely eliminated for everyone,” she said.
Jenkins’ friends and family have launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover the cost of her funeral.
Other trans women who have been reported murdered this year include: Tamara Dominguez, Elisha Walker, Kandis Capri, Amber Monroe,Shade Schuler, K.C. Haggard, India Clarke, Ashton O’Hara, Jasmine Collins,Mercedes Williamson, London Chanel, Keyshia Blige, Kristina Gomez Reinwald, Penny Proud, Taja Gabrielle DeJesus, Yazmin Vash Payne, Ty Underwood, Lamia Beard and Papi Edwards.
To learn more about violence against transgender women in the United States, check out teleSUR’s coverage below: