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Gerardo Thomas

Gerardo Thomas, 33, of Baltimore, was arrested Wednesday in Cecil County, Prince George’s police announced Thursday. He was charged with first-degree murder of transgender woman Zoe Spears and is being held without bond.

Thomas’ nondescript grey minivan, which he surely thought was untraceable was key to his apprehension. Excellent detective work and the contributions of a retired officer employed at a car dealership led to his arrest.

Ashanti Carmon, a friend of Zoe Spears was found shot to death during the TDoV weekend, and her homicide remains unsolved. She was shot on Eastern Avenue just blocks away from where Spears was murdered.

Gerardo Thomas’ minivan

Police aren’t getting much cooperation from Thomas in connecting the murders and are asking the public if they have seen this vehicle.

Chief Hank Stawinski was rightfully proud and praised the detectives for their police work.

“It was grit and determination that led to the identification of the individual responsible for callously taking Zoe’s life,” he said in a statement to NBC Washington. “Homicide Unit detectives worked around the clock on this case throughout the past five weeks, initially with nothing more to go on than a grainy surveillance image of the killer’s van.”

The post DC man arrested for the murder of trans woman Zoe Spears appeared first on Planet Transgender.

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Carly VG / Facebook

Carly VG was last seen around midnight Sunday, July 14 getting into a white Nissan Tsuru on Las Casas Street, Oaxaca de Juárez, Mexico. The car advanced a few meters when the passenger door was thrown open and Carly was pushed to the ground. According to reports the driver was drunk and got into an argument with Carly which ended with him stabbing her in the chest, piercing her heart.

Emergency units were called by those who saw the attack but to no avail. Carly passed away before arriving at DR AURELIO Valdivieso hospital.

Witnesses in the area told El Imparcial de Oaxaca that Carly was allegedly engaged in sex work. For this reason, it is presumed that the murderer was one of her clients.

No arrests have been made.

Mexico has suffered 31 Trans murders second only to Brazil which has had 85 reported murders since the 2018 TDoR.

Carly was the second trans person murdered in Oaxaca, a locality famous for trans Muxes. Transgender woman Pollita Ruiz from Tehuantepec Oaxaca was shot and killed March 13, 2019.

*México ocupa el segundo lugar en Transfeminicidios*
En Oaxaca, condenamos el Transfeminicidio de CARLY y exigimos a la @FISCALIA_GobOax investigue con perspectiva de género y que este caso no quede en la impunidad pic.twitter.com/wF2ucxW3vg

— Consorcio Oaxaca (@consorciooaxaca) July 15, 2019

In-depth information available at TDoR Trans Lives Matter.info

R.I.P. Carly

The post Carly VG, Trans woman from Oaxaca MX stabbed in the Heart appeared first on Planet Transgender.

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The Most Dangerous Year, a film by a parent of a transgender child, documents the battle in Washington State to preserve decade-old code protecting transgender rights.  Washington, a bastion of transgender inclusivity was perceived as a target of opportunity by hate groups after they failed to defeat marriage equality.

If this sounds familiar to Texans, it should.

We have personally been through this. This free screening of The Most Dangerous Year will give us an opportunity to reconnect and celebrate our victories, and of equal importance, serve as an awakening.

Our Most Dangerous Year may very well be forthcoming.

Hosted by First Tuesday Social Justice Film Festival the film will be shown at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Oak Cliff, Dallas, Texas. (map)

The Most Dangerous Year - Official Trailer (2019) - YouTube

Co-sponsored by the Dallas Peace and Justice Center and Planet Transgender, the award-winning documentary with an unheard of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes will have a free screening on August 6, 2019 beginning at 7:00 pm.

In February 2016, the Washington State Senate voted on a bill to repeal a decade-old rule issued by the state’s Human Rights Commission. That rule was clarified in 2016 specifically allowing transgender Washingtonians the legal right to use public restrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

Following the bill’s defeat, haters began collecting signatures to have the issue on the ballot in November 2016.

This is their story, their history, and victory during their Most Dangerous Year.

The post The Most Dangerous Year: A Free Screening appeared first on Planet Transgender.

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Luz, a transgender asylum seeker from Honduras displays her scars

Luz, a transgender asylum seeker from Honduras presented herself to the CBP at the United States border legally as an asylum seeker fleeing political persecution, She left her home in Honduras armed only with hope, her body scarred from being beaten, shot and imprisoned, all for the crime of being trans in Honduras.

Upon entering the US legally she was immediately imprisoned and subjected to many of the same horrors that she thought that she had just escaped.

New Mexico’s Cibola County Correctional Center’s “Trans Pod” is a nightmare created by the Trump administration to deter trans asylum seekers.

“Stalag Cibola” a name that will live in infamy

Two transgender Latina asylum seekers, Johana “Joa” Medina, and Roxsana Hernández Rodriguez died or were murdered by DHS-HHS and ICE while in their custody or shortly thereafter.

Most barely survived. Alejandra was one of the ‘fortunate’ ones lived despite being deprived of proper nutrition, medical care, and HIV medication.

Others have been murdered by the people they told CBP about after being returned to their countries

Camila Díaz Córdova murdered by police after being denied asylum

29 transgender detainees at Cibola wrote a letter published June 2019 by the AZ Mirror decrying the inhumane conditions at the jail saying “We are not criminals, we are human beings with rights like any individual.”

The 29 transgender women described not being able to access HIV medications and lack of medical care, inaccessibility of legal help, poor food all exacerbated by transphobic guards.

Video by Sylvia Johnson

First appearing in The Atlantic

The Horrors of ICE’s ‘Trans Pod’

“I decided to come to the U.S. to save my life,” says Luz, a transgender asylum seeker, in Sylvia Johnson’s short documentary Luz’s Story. In Honduras, Luz was shot multiple times by alleged gang members who targeted her for her trans identity. She barely emerged with her life. As soon as she was released from the hospital, she was transferred to a Honduran prison on charges of defending her identity. Upon her release 10 months later, after being abused in prison, several gang members again threatened her life.

Luz entered the United States via an official port of entry and asked for protection through political asylum. She was promptly imprisoned. “I had already been imprisoned [in Honduras] and didn’t want to experience another situation like what I had been through,” she says in the film.

Later, Luz would learn that her Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facility, New Mexico’s Cibola County Correctional Center, had previously been a criminal correctional prison. In October 2016, it was shut down due to inhumane conditions that resulted in several inmate deaths. Shortly thereafter, ICE offered a contract of $30 million a year to the same facility. It reopened in January 2017. Since early 2018, Cibola has incarcerated more than 180 women in its “transgender pod”—the only known ICE-run detention facility for transgender-identifying women. According to Johnson, the incarcerated women, such as Luz, were seeking protection from violence and persecution they had suffered in their home country.

Luz says she spent three excruciating months in Cibola—two of which were in solitary confinement. “It was really, really horrible for me,” she says. “I went into a depression that made me want to hurt myself.”

Johnson, who works part-time at the Santa Fe Dreamers Project, told me that the women in the trans pod face extraordinary hardships and obstacles to winning their cases. “While in custody, they face a shocking lack of medical and mental-health services,” she said. “They are put in abusive solitary confinement, they experience high levels of sexual assault, and they face discrimination from the government and the corporation that detains them.” Johnson cited the deaths of Roxsana Hernandez Rodriguez in 2018 and Johana Medina Leon this year as grave evidence of ICE’s inability to detain trans women safely.

Luz’s Story, a collaboration between Johnson and the photographer Eduardo Montes-Bradley, is just one horrific account of the trauma experienced by many trans asylum seekers.

On June 6th, 2019 the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released this dystrophic video portraying nearly idyllic detention conditions touching on all of the areas that are protested by detainees.

The transgender detainees wrote about the staging of the film,

“In recent days, the employees of this unit staged activities that are solely an opposite image of reality,” they said. “They deceived us, coercing us to sign papers that weren’t explained to us and we didn’t know what their true purpose was.”

The House held hearings today offering substantial testimony from officials and advocate in complete contrast to this dystopian fiction published by the government.

LIVE: House Oversight Cmte. hearing on migrant facilities.

Among those testifying:

• Acting DHS Inspector General Jennifer Costello
• Asst. HHS IG for Evaluation and Inspections Ann Maxwell
• Former Acting ICE Director Thomas Homanhttps://t.co/VfvkU83mjX

— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 12, 2019

If Illegal Immigrants are unhappy with the conditions in the quickly built or refitted detentions centers, just tell them not to come. All problems solved!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 3, 2019

The horrific conditions that all of these people are trying to escape were created by Neoliberalism fueled by the United States nationalist’s hatred of leftist ideology.

From this day forward let it be acknowledged that we at Planet Transgender take full responsibility for those actions of past and present administrations and welcome those fleeing to the United States as American citizens fully imbued with the rights and responsibilities of our country.

We owe them that much.

The post Stalag Cibola: The Hell that awaits transgender asylum seekers appeared first on Planet Transgender.

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As the Supreme Court deliberates whether LGBT people should be protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Trans people are literally fighting daily for our lives and our jobs.

Many of us endure harassment from the moment we step onto our employer’s property until the second we leave. The American Medical Association recognizes that as a health hazard.

Things have gotten better, but only marginally and for purely pragmatic reasons.

Many employers one-time indifference to our struggle has been replaced with a business need as the Trump administration decimates the foreign labor pool, our continued employment has become increasingly vital to their success.

[Proposed HHS rule eliminates gender expression as a Patient Protection under the Affordable Care Act Comment here until August 12, 2019.]

We are amongst the most sought after employees as expressed in an amicus brief filed by 206 employers representing more than 7 million employees. We are those LGBT Americans who help produce more than 5 trillion dollars in revenue.

The truth be known the need for our presence in the workplace won’t change the immediate need our employers have for us should SCOTUS rule against us.

But it would in the long run. Our fellow employees will take the cue from SCOTUS as tactic approval that harassment is acceptable and act on their darkest impulses intensifying our dysphoric mental anguish. This may very well make our jobs an impossibility for many of us, including myself.

The American Medical Association and State Medical Societies recognized this potential and told the U.S. Supreme Court in an amicus brief to protect our health. In a statement on their website, “The AMA takes a stand for transgender Americans in Supreme Court filing”:

To protect transgender individuals’ physical and mental health—and reduce stigma—LGBTQ+ individuals must be protected from discrimination in the workplace, the Litigation Center of the American Medical Association and State Medical Societies tell the U.S. Supreme Court in an amicus brief.

The AMA Litigation Center, American College of Physicians, Medical Association of Georgia, Michigan State Medical Society and a dozen other medical, mental health and health care organizations filed the joint brief in the nation’s highest court July 3.

These organizations support transgender employees asking the nation’s highest court to clarify that protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964—a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin—apply to LGBTQ+ individuals.

Workplace discrimination worsens gender dysphoria

The Litigation Center brief notes that between 67% and 78% of transgender individuals experience workplace harassment or mistreatment, and that more than one out of four individuals have been fired, denied a promotion or not hired because of their gender identity or expression.

That discrimination “frustrates the treatment of gender dysphoria by preventing transgender individuals from living with their true gender identity and impeding access to needed medical care,” the brief says.

On top of that, when transgender individuals lose income or health insurance after facing workplace discrimination, that leads to a lack of treatment that then “increases the rate of negative mental health outcomes, substance abuse and suicide,” the brief tells the court. “This gap in coverage also promotes dangerous forms of self-medication, for example, self-surgery, self-injection with unregulated silicone to change body shape, and the use of nonprescription hormones.”

Discrimination leads to negative health outcomes

The presence of employment discrimination reinforces the stigma associated with being transgender, the Litigation Center notes. And the stressful environment created when stigmatization is allowed can ultimately lead to hypertension, diabetes, anxiety and mental health issues that “are the direct result of stigma and not the product of any inherent psychological impairments,” the brief says.

However, it tells the court, when an individual lives in congruence with one’s gender identity and policies prohibit employment discrimination, there are positive health outcomes in the transgender community, including fewer mood disorders and less self-violence compared to transgender individuals in states where employers can discriminate.

Lower courts split on decision

The Supreme Court is considering whether federal protections apply after lower courts have split on whether people in the LGBTQ+ community who have faced discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation should be protected under the law.

In Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta upheld a lower court decision that Title VII does not protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation when it refused to hear the appeal of a case in which a man says he faced homophobic comments in his workplace and that the true reason he was fired from his job was his sexual orientation, not for improperly handling funds.

In Altitude Express, Inc., et al v. Zarda, et al. the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said Title VII does not prohibit discrimination after a skydiving instructor claimed he was fired based on sexual orientation and for not conforming to male gender stereotypes after revealing his sexual identity to a customer during a skydiving session.

And in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, et al., the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled that Title VII protections did apply in a case where a funeral home director, who had worked at the home for six years, was fired after writing a letter to the owner stating that she planned to transition from male to female.

The post American Medical Association files amicus brief in Supreme Court case: support Transgender workplace rights appeared first on Planet Transgender.

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Santiago Carbajal

Transgender woman Santiago “Santi” Carbajal founder and social influencer at the Galaxy of Santi was gunned down Friday in the streets after leaving the studio with friends. The beloved Santi, renowned for critical reporting on local issues was most famously known for extravagantly reporting on LGBTQI events and news.

Despite being committed in broad daylight in a public place police say that they don’t have any leads.

With the death of Santiago Carvajal, there are 78 people linked to the media who have been murdered since 2001 in the Central American country reports telesurtv.net

According to the non-governmental Committee for Free Expression (C-Libre), more than 90% of murders against journalists and social communicators remain unpunished and there is no investigation of the material and intellectual perpetrators.

Santiago Carbajal’ life was threatened the day before she was murdered friends said.

Santi’s last Facebook post, July 5th, the day before she was gunned down was an ‘interview’ with two ceramic LGBT toads. This creative approach was typical of the social commentator’ lighthearted response to Honduran society’s suffocating homophobia and transphobia.

In the interview, the adolescent toads, Cleotile and Teodoro, lamented about their parents who did not allow them to see their boyfriends.

In an absolutely abhorrent inhuman act of violence which one can assume was committed by the killers, a homeless ten-year-old boy was shot twelve times and left along the side of the road the same day that Santi was murdered with a note ‘For Toad’.

Police have transferred the boy to a morgue, but no one has claimed him. Police say that they have no leads in the murder of the ten-year-old boy either.

One friend sorrowfully recalling Santi’s indomitable spirit noted that she was severely beaten just last winter for her advocacy. She said that Santi would’nt cave to them while alive so the cowards resorted to the ultimate act of censorship, murder.

The post Honduran Transgender Television Personality Santiago Carbajal Murdered appeared first on Planet Transgender.

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Cecelia Cranko

Transgender activist Cecelia Cranko was found unresponsive and pronounced dead in her South Orange NJ home early Friday morning.

Firemen found Cranko while responding to a fire in her home.

In 2007 Cranko reported being assaulted in her home. No arrests have been made in that case and as of yet, police haven’t linked the two incidents.

The cause of Cecelia Cranko’ death and the fire is under investigation.

Acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens, South Orange Fire Chief Daniel Sullivan and South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll have announced that authorities are investigating a fatal fire that occurred in South Orange, NJ early this morning (7/5/19).

At approximately 2:39 a.m., units from the South Orange Fire Department were dispatched to a report of a fire at a residence at 231 Ward Place. Arriving firefighters observed an active fire at this location. As firefighters entered the structure, they located an unresponsive female on the third floor of the single-family residence.

The female was pronounced dead at the scene.

The victim has been identified as Cecelia Cranko, age 48, who resided in the residence, according to Chief Assistant Prosecutor Thomas S. Fennelly of the Prosecutor’s Homicide Unit. No one else was injured as a result of the fire.

This incident is being investigated by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Crime Scene Investigations Bureau. The origin and cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to Fennelly. Anyone with information is asked to call the Prosecutor’s Tips Line at (877) 847-7432.

In 2017, Cranko told WABC-TV that a man broke into her home on Ward Place and beat her violently before running out the door.

“He just ran for me,” she then told the TV station “I tried to get upstairs to my room, to lock the door, but he caught me before that, and he just attacked me. He tried to pull my clothes off, and I screamed and kicked.”

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office Crime Scene Investigations Bureau is investigating both the origin and cause of the fire, Fennelly said.

Anyone with information should call the Prosecutor’s Tips Line at 1-877-847-7432.

For more information tdor.translivesmatter.info

The post New Jersey transgender woman Cecelia Cranko killed in house fire appeared first on Planet Transgender.

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Camila Díaz Córdova

Three San Salvadorian policemen have been arrested and charged with the murder of a former asylum seeker, transgender woman Camila Díaz Córdova.

The prosecutor’s office said the officers beat the victim for 40 minutes and left her alive on the street.

The Attorney General of the Republic (FGR) presented an injunction against three agents of the 911 Emergency System of the National Civil Police (PNC) for the crimes of deprivation of liberty and aggravated homicide.

The victim, identified as Camila Díaz Córdova, 29, according to the prosecution, was deprived of freedom, severely beaten and left alive on Constitution Boulevard by officers Carlos Valentin Rosales, Jaime Giovany Mendoza, and Luis Alfredo Avelar, of the Flor Blanca colony of San Salvador.

Justice would have never stood a chance if not for the unrelenting work by friends and advocacy groups.

Three Policemen charged with hate crime for murder of Camila Cordova - YouTube

Camila Díaz Córdova, 29, died on Feb. 3, 2019 days after she was found injured in Soyapango, a municipality in the outskirts of the capital, San Salvador, both a friend and trans advocate said.

Soon afterward police closed the investigation citing a lack of evidence according to her friend and advocate Virginia Flores.

Doctors told Flores, that she had either been brutally attacked or struck by a vehicle, and was transported to a hospital after she was found injured in a street.

“It was all so tragic,” Flores told BuzzFeed News.

The Washington Blade first reported Camila Córdova’s death in English.

Díaz Córdova had requested asylum from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the summer of 2017 in Tijuana, Flores said, fleeing to the US after gang members had tried to kill her. By November 2017 she had been deported to El Salvador, Flores said.

“In Honduras and El Salvador, it has never been illegal to be part of the rainbow, but that has not meant the State guarantee rights either, but coexisted with the most hostile and lethal societies for these minorities. Between 1996 and 2015, more than 500 hate crimes were registered in El Salvador   -without that category existing as a crime- while in Honduras the 2009 coup aggravated the violence against the LGBTI population, victim of 259 murders between 2009 and 2017.”

“The struggle in these countries, for now, remains that they do not kill you, without putting the struggle for visibility and representation on hold.”

The lack of action on the part of the judicial system to investigate hate crimes has created a widespread feeling of anxiety among El Salvador’s LGBTI activists. “It is unfortunate that although we have articles in the penal code that (allow for the classification of) crimes committed against trans people as hate crimes, they are not put into practice,” Miss Trans El Salvador 2018 Tatiana Molina, who is also an LGBTI activist, told the Blade. “Such is the case of all the crimes that have occurred in recent years and specifically the cases of Camila and Lolita. That is why we are demanding justice and the prompt investigation and prosecution of these cases.”

The increase in anti-LGBTI hate crimes and the lack of prosecution of them has sparked increased fear among community members. “I feel outraged, insecure and even more so I am afraid of any reaction of a homophobic or transphobic person who can harm us while walking in the streets,” she said.

The post Camila Díaz Córdova murdered by police after being denied asylum appeared first on Planet Transgender.

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Sage Smith(L)                                                       Erik Mcfadden(R)

Every couple of years the mainstream news reminds of the unsolved 2012 murder of transgender teen Sage Smith. And every couple of years we are enraged that Erik Tyquan McFadden, the person of interest, remains free.

This year the lead investigator read her father’s statement saying the department doesn’t care because she was black and transgender.

Smith was last seen on Tuesday, November 20th. Smith had phone contact with Erik Tyquan McFadden on that day and then told friends she was going to meet someone on West Main Street. She was seen a short time later in the 500 block of West Main Street.

Smith has not been seen or heard from since. Erik McFadden, who at the time was living on 14th Street NW, confirmed to investigators that he did have phone contact with Smith and planned to meet her on Tuesday near the Amtrak Station on West Main Street.

McFadden, while in police custody stated that the meeting never took place. He was later released, Police at that time named him a person of interest but said that they had reason to believe that McFadden had left the area.

McFadden said in a text to a friend that he did meet with Sage Smith. But Police dropped McFadden in 2017 as a person of interest based on text records from his phone.

Erik McFadden last seen seven years ago was just  declared by the police as missing and again a person of interest.

What has actually changed to make the police suspect Macfadden again?

And now police now say they believe that McFadden is in the area.

Is this all just smoke and mirrors to placate relatives and an increasingly vocal public?

The police investigation was publicly condemned in a statement written by the father and read by the lead detective.

“I believe that there wasn’t any equality in the investigation due to these facts.”
“One, my child is black.”
“Two, my child is transgender.”

The post Detective reads Dads statement about daughter Sage Smith: police don’t care appeared first on Planet Transgender.

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