Jacksonville’s T.A.P. Transgender Advocacy Group, Calls for Change after Authorites Misgendered Trans Murder Victim

Sabrina Samone, TMP

Jacksonville Florida is a bustling and diverse city. Despite this, there seems to be a lack of organizations supporting and working with the transgender community. Paige Parks, a transgender woman is trying to change that. She is trying to bring awareness and funding to the minority transgender population in Jacksonville which is offered little support. A lot of transgender folks are homeless (with few homeless shelters servicing transgender individuals) and often having to resort to street work to get money for basic necessities. It is difficult for transgender folks to obtain jobs and even harder to get medical service. There’s a real need in this seemingly invisible and ostracized portion of the community. That ostracism was felt hardest on Feb. 4th, when 36-year-old Celine Walker became the fourth trans woman in America killed for their identity as female. Our community was served with a continued attack by police, local news outlets, who misgendered Celine Walker even in death.

Now T.A.P. Jacksonville’s Transgender Awareness Project’¹ is calling for a change in the way transgender people are identified by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

“I’m here to be the voice for her and all of the rest of the transgender women who don’t have a voice that has been murdered,” transgender activist Paige Mahogany Parks said.

Walker’s supporters gathered at a vigil Saturday, at Friendship Fountain to remember her life. Walker’s friends said she was outstanding.

“She lived her life as a woman. She lived her life in peace,” Parks said. “From what I gathered, she was a decent person.”

Walker was killed Feb. 4 at the Extended Stay America on Skinner Lake Drive in Jacksonville Florida’s south side.² Police have not said anything about their investigation since her body was found, but friends believe her death may have been a hate crime because Walker was transgender.

“You have a lot of guys who use the excuse that transgender women are running around here, fooling guys. Honey, this is not 1918. This is not Jerry Springer. Nobody’s being fooled anymore,” Parks said. “You know what you’re getting yourself into.”

Friends met at the Friendship Fountain to honor Walker and to bring awareness to what they call misgendering of transgender people.

Members of Jax’s Transgender Awareness Project

Another member of Transgender Awareness Project and employee of the extended stay Celine was murdered, London Gore, in a statement to Jax news 4³ said, “Me being trans myself, I have a lot to worry about. So I called them and got the response I wasn’t looking for, so I had to resign from my job because I didn’t feel safe going into an environment that did not protect me. We’re human. We love like you love, hurt like you hurt, bleed like you bleed, the same color. We just want to be treated equally and to know our lives matter, to me anybody’s lives matter.”

Jacksonville’s News 4 coverage of vigil demonstration.

Celine Walker is the fourth Trans Woman Murdered in 2018. Say Their Names, former Miss Trans America Christa Leigh, then Viccky Gutierrez, and Tonya Harvey just days before Celine Walker.


  1. T.A.P Transgender Awareness Project Facebook page.
  2. Celine Walker is the fourth Trans woman killed so far in 2018: a former Miss Trans America Christa Leigh, then Viccky Gutierrez, and Tonya Harvey just days before Celine Walker Say Their Names.
  3. Some coverage courtesy of Jax News 4, video embedded in the article.
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Gwynevere River Song Becomes 17th Trans Person Murdered in 2017

By TMPlanet 

Update 9 am Aug. 17th, reports have indicated Gwynevere was shot by their father.

A bittersweet shadow of victory was cast of over Texas’s trans community. News spread early that Texas legislature abruptly ended its special session late Tuesday without passing a bill regulating the use of bathrooms by transgender people, a setback for Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who had called the 30-day session in large part to enact such a law. The victory was over casted by the weekend death of a 26 year old trans person in a Dallas suburb.

Just past 5 pm on Saturday, August 12, Gwynevere became the 17th transgender individual in the United States to be murdered in 2017. They were shot by someone in their home. Gwynevere died at home after an argument escalated into violence Saturday afternoon, reports the Daily Light, a local paper. Song was pronounced dead at the scene². The other person was transported to the hospital. Early details at this link, but note that they are misgendered and dead named by the media here. In fact, the media even misspelled their family surname. The Ellis County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate.

Song was a 2015 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

Marcy Mosher, who identified herself as Song’s mother, announced on the victim’s Facebook page that services will be held on Monday, Aug 21 at the Wayne Boze Funeral Home, at 1826 US-287 Business in Waxahachie.

“I love you so much, you are missed so much I can’t figure out how I’m going to go on,” Mosher wrote. “I promise you I will carry out your wishes.”

Trans Pride Initiative, a Dallas-based advocacy group, reported that the community is welcome to attend the services for Song.

According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs¹, Song is at least the 17th trans person reported killed this year, and the second from Texas. Kenne McFadden was found dead in the San Antonio River on April 9. McFadden’s death has been ruled a homicide.

Transgender people face unprecedented violence, and discrimination. While we denounce the actions of #notourpresident concerning the death of a peaceful protester by a white supremacist, as minority leaders across the country asked for the trans community to stand in solidarity, we also ask those leaders to stand against the continued violence on trans people. Together we can over come hate and bigotry.

Rest in power, Gwynevere. Thank you for the beauty, thoughtfulness and imagination you brought to this world. May we honor your life and death by seeking justice for all our trans family.

The list of trans people killed in 2017

  1. Mesha Caldwell-Mississippi: 41 yrs. old RIP Jan. 4th
  2. Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow: Sioux Falls: 28 yrs. old RIP Jan. 7th
  3. Jojo Striker-Toledo, OH: 23 yrs. old RIP Feb. 8th
  4. Keke Collier-Chicago: 24 yrs. old RIP Feb. 21st
  5. Chyna Gibson-New Orleans: 31 yrs. old RIP Feb. 25th
  6. Ciara McElveen-New Orleans: 26 yrs. old RIP Feb 27th
  7. Jaquarrius Holland (Brown)- Monroe, LA 18 yrs. old RIP Feb. 19th
  8. Alphonza Watson – Baltimore (RIP. March 22), 38 years old
  9. Chay Reed – Miami-Dade ( RIP. April 19), 28 years old
  10. Brenda Bostick-New York City, 59 years old RIP April 25th
  11. Sherrell Faulkner – Charlotte, NC (RIP. May 16), 46 years old
  12. Kenne McFadden – San Antonio (RIP. June 6), 27 years old
  13. Josie Berrios – Ithaca, NY (RIP. June 13), 28 years old
  14. Ava Le’Ray Barrin – Athens, GA (RIP. June 25), 17 years old
  15. Ebony Monroe – Lynchburg, VA (RIP. July 2), 28 years old
  16. Tee Tee Dangerfield – Atlanta, GA (RIP. July 31), 32 years old
  17. Gwynevere River Song – Waxahachie, TX (RIP. August 12), 26 years old

Say their name, read them loud. Hate tried to erase them, but for them we remain trans and proud




  1. National Coalition of Anti-Violence Program
  2. GLAAD’s Media Reference Guide on reporting on Transgender persons, and reporting of media mis-representation.
  3. TDOR or Transgender Day of Remembrance
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Hawes-Tingey on Her Way to Making History as First Transgender Mayor in Utah

By Sabrina Samone

Sophia Hawes-Tingey appeared to safely advance to the Nov. 7 final election, and one step closer to making history in the small Utah town of Midvale, as the first possible transgender Mayor in conservative Utah.

She was running second among five hopefuls and appearing safe to advance with 24 percent of the vote. Hawes-Tingey trailed a former city council member of the town, who had 30 percent of the vote.

Despite recent tweets to call for a ban on transgender military personnel, Sophia is a US Navy Veteran, who has served her country proudly and desires to continue to do so as Mayor of Midvale, Utah. She’s a software engineer with a passion for advancing diversity and combating discrimination in all forms.

Sophia Hawes-Tingey acknowledges the historic nature of her campaign for city council, but she does not want to make it the focus of her race in this Salt Lake City suburb.

“I see myself mostly as a community servant who just happens to be transgender,” she told her local Fox News affiliate after she filed to run for Midvale’s City Council District 2.

If elected, Hawes-Tingey would be the first openly-transgender person to serve in public office in the state of Utah. Her race does bring increased visibility to Utah’s LGBT community, which has seen big advances within the past couple of years when it comes to same-sex marriage, non-discrimination in housing and employment and several openly gay candidates seeking political office.

When asked about the significance of her candidacy, Hawes-Tingey said she wants to talk to voters about fighting crime, improving neglected neighborhoods and fostering economic growth in Midvale.

“I know to the LGBT community, they see this as a message of hope. But this is a race about community values,” she said.

Hawes-Tingey said being transgender “is only one aspect of who I am.” She pointed to her service on the Midvale Community Council.

“I’m also a software engineer. I’m a Navy veteran, I’ve studied dance for a number of years,” she said. “I don’t define myself only on my gender identity.”

Still, her campaign has attracted the attention of national gay rights groups. She has the backing of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, Restore Our Humanity and the Utah Stonewall Democrats.

Hawes-Tingey is challenging incumbent Midvale City Councilman Paul Glover, who is seeking his fourth term in office.

Utah, the home of the staunch conservative Mormon church, has been going through a progressive transition in recent years, with several LGBT politicians, and more vocal advocates. While the town of Midvale is not known for diversity, it is one of the fastest growing suburbs of Salt Lake City, growing 17% since the 2010 census, with an average median income of nearly 54,000 per household. With it’s progressive growth, and the willingness to embrace possibly the first transgender politician in Utah, this could be the first light of progressive change taking root in Utah.


Currently 7,000 has been raised in support of Hawes-Tingey’s campaign. We’re asking our Friends of TMP to share her story and urge those in your immediate community to give in order to empower transgender politicians, who maybe our only way to fight the fascism we face.


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The Problem with Men Like Bobby Valentino and Why It’s More Than Hypersexualizing of Trans Women

By Sabrina Samone

I can’t be the only trans woman this has happened too. You’re out shopping, a handsome man approaches you and starts a conversation. He opens the door for you, and asks do you have kids? How can your husband have you out here by yourself, fine as you are? You tell him you have no kids, or a husband. He continues with his inquisitive approach to figuring you out, while he asks for your number and a date. You can feel him watching you, studying you and if it’s a good day it just ends innocently there. Those other days is when his eyes swells, he stops and takes a step back to really look at you. He begins to figure out  your T (truth)¹, or the more politically correct phrase; sees that your gender identity differs from your assigned birth. Your heart beats faster, and sweat builds. You wonder how this will go. Will you be another statistic, or will this be an educational moment? Then again, could this be the moment you meet your soul mate? The questions, the anxiety, the uncertainty of being trans, but you got this.

Now come the questions like; ‘So you’re trans, I would have never known?’ He begin looking around to see if anyone else is watching him. For the past 30 minutes he seemed to have been unaware anyone else in the world existed, but now that he knows, he acts as if both of you are standing nude in the middle of a giant NFL stadium. The conversation has changed from asking you out on a date, to informing you that he has never been sexually active with a transgender woman before. More often than not the line continues as, but I always wanted to try. Maybe he tells you the first time he saw a transgender porn film, or a nude image of a nude trans-girl and how he was so turned on. Now you wonder did he know all along, as he continues telling you of his fantasies of one day meeting a rare unicorn. Yes you are entering the hyper-sexualized zone of being a transgender woman, and in fact, any woman.

Men are visual creatures, and predators. Before the masculists label me as a male hating feminist, I don’t mean predator in the registered sex offender sense. Predator as in a male’s primal sexual instinct. He enjoys the hunt. As my mother once said, it must not be up to the man how far to go with a woman, because if it was, he’d definitely go all the way every time. It’s up to the female, trans or cis, on how far you will let him go. It is your decision. It’s ok to say no.

Yet,  the case of Bobby Valentine² takes it a step deeper than just discarding this as simple hyper-sexualization of the female body. There is a sense of shame, and entitlement to this trans woman’s body. Men don’t pay for sex, ever. Men pay for discretion, so when Bobby Valentino hit up a transgender escort he was being on the down low, discrete, and not possibly because she was trans. Just possibly because he didn’t want his business on the streets, he has a girlfriend somewhere, as his tweets about his encounter revealed that he doesn’t seem to care who knows he had sex with a trans woman. All somewhat positive points in that regard, but what he did do was refuse to pay the escort he had hired, after having his services. Of course, a professional sex worker would have received payment up front regardless of gender, but this does raise the question of why some men feel that because an escort is transgender they don’t have to pay, or for the girl who isn’t a sex worker, he may feel entitled to have, as if he is doing her a favor.

Bobby Valentino has turned off his comments on social media and says he won’t let anyone steal his joy after he was allegedly outed by the sex worker. Over the weekend, a video surfaced online which allegedly shows the R&B singer quickly grabbing his clothes and running out of a hotel room after he refused to pay for “services” rendered.

Our trans sister, whom we will not reveal her name here to protect her identity, because trans women of color are victims of murder at an epidemic rate, reported that she did not mind putting Valentino on blast because it was her bank account she respected. Bobby ran off so fast that he had left his car keys, which the victim yelled at him that he would not be getting back until he pay the money owed, and to call  about the price.

Bobby wrote, “Say what u want! #imhappy😬people have so much hate in em that they wanna steal someone else joy.. can’t steal mine!😬”

While it’s debatable any joy was stolen from him, he definitely stole promised funds to a sex worker after having his, ‘joy’ with her. The mainstream tabloid media that has been reporting this weekend news, seems only infatuated with the fact the sex worker was transgender, not at all with the character and actions of Valentino.

For most transgender women this isn’t a new revelation. The media, our communities and churches, and even some of the men who claim to desire us often have such little respect or none at all for the bodies of transgender women. It’s a problem seen year after year when we read the names during our International Transgender Day of Remembrance. We see it in the countless attempts to legislate our bodies, and bathroom usage. It’s the in your face bigotry felt thru laws like The Freedom of Religion Acts, that give individual business a free reign to discriminate according to their taste and call it religious beliefs. It’s why nearly any transgender woman arrested and placed in a male prison is almost guaranteed to be raped, and violated, yet are continued to be placed with males. It brings to mind old rape defenses from the 1950’s, ‘she wore a red dress, she must have wanted it,’ or better yet, ‘she changed her gender so therefore she must’ve wanted it.’ A second assault on the victim.

It’s the constant message that our bodies are less valuable, that it doesn’t’ matter as much that trans women of color are being killed at an alarming rate, in the eyes of the Black Lives Matter movement. We battle TERFs for inclusion as women in women areas, and have sex offender Republican legislators, regulate our bathroom usage and create fear about our bodies to cover their indiscretions. The message the media has sent over the weekend, laughs at the revelation of Bobby Valentino’s sexual encounter with a trans woman, making comedy tabloid as the focus of the story. There is no debate or concern of the violation of the agreement broken by a wealthy high-profile celebrity and near homeless Atlanta sex worker. There is something deeper than just hypersexualization, and scandal here. It is shame, and a disregard for the safety of a trans woman’s body and it’s another example of how hip-hop, tabloid media continues to be an accessory to the murders of transgender women of color year after year.

Earlier Sunday afternoon, the victim released a  live video. She reports  receiving a lot of negative feed back for outing him. Revealing that the victim continues to be criminalized and further violated. Even throughout social media, gay men even joined in accusing her of using her “transness” to out a man, as if outing was the only issue at hand here, and implying that he may not have known she was trans. This is a constant message by cis men, gay and straight, that implies no one knowingly would be with a trans woman. The struggle for black trans women, even among black lgb, recalls to mind a line from The Color Purple; a black woman’s life is from can’t do to don’t.


  1. My T: Slang for revealing that you are trans, or it being revealed. usage They got my T. (meaning they figured that I’m transgender).
  2. Bobby Wilson better known by his stage name Bobby V is an American singer, songwriter and actor. He has charted three No. 1 albums on Billboard’s U.S. Top R&B Chart since 2006. V’s first major single, “Slow Down”
  3.  International Transgender Day of Remembrance, which occurs annually on November 20, is a day to memorialize those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia and to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.
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Riley Knoxx

 Is it Beyoncé? She maybe one of the most sought after Beyoncé impersonators, Riley Knox. Beyoncé maybe the hardest working woman in show business but her look a like is the hardest working Trans woman in entertainment. With the release of her calendar; to raise money for disadvantaged Transgender youth in and around D.C., she is proving she’s more than a performer, but an advocate for youth growing up in a dysphoric world. Ironically I get to say this sister is really family, she is my biological 2nd cousin and an inspiration to many.

Riley Knoxx is a Greater D.C. gender illusionist, known as the top Beyoncé impersonator as well as the co-host of web series talk show “We Speak The Talk Show” and an area activist of positive role models within the trans* with the sales of her 2015 calendar going to the area trans youth programs.

Riley Knox as one of the Most Influential People on our ‘TransMusePlanet’s annual Top 20 Most Influential Trans-People of 2014’  #20



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