Gwynevere River Song Becomes 17th Trans Person Murdered in 2017

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

 

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  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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Two Teens Admit to Targeting Trans Activist in a Recent Attack in Texas

A second suspect in an attack on a transgender woman last week admitted to Austin police that he targeted the victim because of her gender identity, according to court papers filed Monday.

Rayshad Deloach, 17, and his brother, Raymond, have both been accused of carjacking and mugging Stephanie Martinez¹, an Austin transgender activist.

“Rayshad admitted that he attacked Martinez because she was transgender,” police officers wrote in his arrest affidavit.

In his statement to the police, Rayshad Deloach confirmed the details of the Thursday afternoon attack that Martinez relayed to the police, including punching her several times in the face and picking up a log as if to use it to bash her head.

Just a day after the attack, Martinez testified before state lawmakers at the Capitol as they debated the so-called bathroom bills², laws that would restrict local governments and school districts from implementing transgender-friendly bathroom policies.

The measure is one of the most contentious being debated during the Legislature’s special session.

“This bill is not about safety, this bill is not about bathrooms,” Martinez told a committee of state senators, which backed the legislation after hours of testimony that went largely against the measure. “This bill is about limiting my ability to navigate public life.”

Following North Carolina’s lead, Texas Republicans in January unveiled the so-called “bathroom bill” to regulate bathroom use and keep transgender Texans from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

Senate Bill 6, one of Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s legislative priorities, would have required transgender people to use bathrooms in public schools, government buildings and public universities based on “biological sex.” The measure would also pre-empt local nondiscrimination ordinances that allow transgender Texans to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.

The ripple effects of such hate inspired legislation, has made the lives of many trans people in the state less safe³. When a politician tells his constituents, that the lives of trans people are debatable, and legally ok to be ridiculed, attacks like these happen. Rayshad, and Raymond Deloach should be charged with a hate crime, but they are not the only ones. The state Republicans, pushing these hate bills, are also responsible for this, and every attack, on every trans person in the state of Texas.

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  1. Stephanie Martinez, is an activist with the Transgender Education Network of Texas. She was able to attend the senate hearing on anti-transgender legislation Friday and speak out against SB3 ad SB99. She listens to he Human Rights Campaign, Equality Texas, the ACLU of Texas, the Texas Freedom Network and the Transgender Education Network of Texas gather in the outdoor rotunda of the Texas Capitol extension Friday afternoon to propose anti-transgender legislation bills SB 3 and SB99 at the Texas Capitol July 21, 2017.
  2. Senate Bill 3, a so-called “bathroom bill,” would regulate public school facilities, open-enrollment charter school facilities, and local government restrooms to be “used only by persons of the same sex as stated on a person’s birth certificate.” It will now advance to the full Senate for consideration.
  3. “A Matter of Life and Death” brings to light the stories of the at least 21 trans people who have been murdered since the beginning of this year, and it estimates there have been at least 74 murders of transgender people since 2013.
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