India Clarke, 25, was found dead in a Tampa park on Tuesday after suffering blunt force trauma to her upper body, according to police. They are investigating the killing as a murder.
India is at least the ninth confirmed transgender woman of color lost to homicide this year in the United States. She is the second confirmed transgender woman of color murdered this year in Florida.
In the wake of her death, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and some press outlets have repeatedly misidentified India by her former name and misgendered her as a man, even after being corrected by members of the public and media.
In an exchange with Buzzfeed, police said they “don’t have any indication” that Clarke’s gender identity was a factor in her murder. Asked why not, a police spokesman said:
Because of his prior prostitution and drug activity, we feel this may be more related. There were other circumstance around the crime scene that I am not at liberty to discuss that leads us to believe this is more related to drugs or prostitution. There is absolutely nothing to indicate any other motive at this time.
Due to the pervasive discrimination that they face in their everyday lives, transgender women, and especially transgender women of color, suffer from disproportionately high rates of unemployment, social isolation, mental illness, drug abuse, sexual abuse, and physical violence.
Much of the discrimination stems from the refusal of many to honor transgender and gender nonconforming identities. In light of these facts, it is unconscionable to SAVE that investigators would refuse to consider India's identity in life as a potential factor in her murder. Furthermore, the persistence in misgendering India despite the reality is inexcusable.
The murder of transgender Americans needs to stop. The refusal to acknowledge and respect their identities needs to end -- and the only way it will happen is by engaging our neighbors one-on-one to change hearts and minds in favor of equality and acceptance.
This Saturday, SAVE continues its effort to reduce transgender prejudice in South Florida with a door-to-door community engagement canvass at Barry University.
Will you join us? The only way to end the violence against transgender Americans is to get involved NOW. Click here to sign up. >>
Transgender Prejudice Reduction Canvass
THIS SATURDAY, July 25, 9AM-3PM
Barry University, Thompson Hall, Room #230
11300 NE 2nd Ave
India's murder is the latest in the string of heartbreaking tragedies for the transgender community in Florida and nationwide.
NOW is the time to take action to END the violence, and we need people like you to help spread the message. Thank you for your support. SAVE sends our deepest condolences to the friends and family of India Clarke.
On the evening of Thursday, August 20, SAVE will honor four of South Florida's brightest young professionals working towards a more equal future for South Florida's LGBT community.
The Young Guardians' Luminary Awards, to be held this year at the Bacardí headquarters building in Coral Gables, were created to recognize the important work of young activists, as well as to provide an opportunity for the next generation of LGBT trailblazers to meet those who came before them.
It’s been such an amazing year for equality, with huge victories for transgender rights and the freedom to marry. None of these advances would have been possible without young leaders like our 2015 Luminaries fighting the good fight at the front lines of the battle for equality.
We're proud to announce that SAVE's 2015 Luminaries of Equality are:
A.J. Blechner, for his tireless dedication and long-term commitment to SAVE’s transgender prejudice reduction initiative as a volunteer canvass leader and advocate for transgender justice.
Father Grey Maggiano, for his unwavering commitment to LGBTQ equality as a value of the faithful in his role as Associate Rector at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Miami. In his short time at the Cathedral, Father Grey has worked with the Cathedral leadership and the Bishop’s Office to expand efforts around equality inside and outside the church walls.
Jessica Fernandez, for her innovative efforts to grow support for LGBTQ equality in South Florida by engaging constituencies traditionally overlooked by the movement in her position as President of the Miami-Dade Young Republicans and co-owner of the Miami public affairs consultancy AI Advisory.
Nadege Green, for her highly accessible and carefully-sourced coverage of developments in the local LGBTQ equality movement, as well as her reporting on the plight of queer Americans in general, as an award-winning journalist and producer for the Miami Herald and WLRN.
It would be our pleasure if you would join SAVE on August 20 as we honor these trailblazers lighting the way to equality for LGBTQ South Floridians.
You don't want to miss this elegant event! With an exclusive penthouse event space overlooking downtown Coral Gables AND open bar all night long provided by Bacardí, it's sure to be our best ceremony yet!
Nothing we've achieved in recent months has been possible without supporters like you. We hope you will join the SAVE family on August 20th as we celebrate the young professional LGBTQ equality activists working at the forefront of the movement to make the world a better place for everyone.
Buy your 2015 Luminary Awards tickets today. >>
Thanks for your support!
On June 26, we made history.
This past Friday evening, we gathered at SAVE HQ to celebrate the Supreme Court's momentous ruling making the freedom to marry the law of the land. The sight of all of our beautiful LGBTQ and allied friends, family, and community leaders gathered together was truly one to behold.
Please take a moment to savor this win -- because the fight for equality is just getting started.
Unfortunately, for many Floridians, celebrating this ruling means taking a risk: LGBTQ people can still be fired in many parts of Florida just because of who they are. Despite the ruling on the freedom to marry, there are still no explicit federal or statewide laws that protect LGBTQ Floridians from discrimination.
Being fired for marrying the person you love -- can you imagine?
At SAVE, #TeamEquality is gearing up for the next phase in the fight for equality -- protecting our newly-won rights from those who would wish to take them away.
This includes securing passage of the Florida Competitive Workforce Act (which would protect LGBTQ Floridians from employment discrimination) and defeating several mean-spirited proposals to criminalize the transgender community.
Click here to read SAVE's #TeamEquality Game Plan to learn more about the work that remains to secure comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Floridians.
From securing workplace nondiscrimination protections for all Floridians to defending the human rights of the transgender community -- the way forward is clear.
I hope you will join #TeamEquality as we redouble our efforts towards achieving full equality for LGBTQ Floridians.
Thank you for your support!
Want to help put #TeamEquality's plan into action? We need funds to do it!
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