Gender Education and Advocacy

edging For Immediate Release

21 August, 2003

Two murders, one critically injured in D.C. trans attacks

“Open season” on transgendered cannot be ignored


Gwen Smith

Ethan St. Pierre

SAN FRANCISCO, August 21, 2003 — Over the last five days, two transgendered women have been killed, and a third critically injured in anti-transgender attacks in Washington, D.C. The Remembering Our Dead project calls for renewed attempts to pass hate crime protections that are inclusive of gender identity and expression.

“It is appalling,” Remembering Our Dead creator Gwen Smith said. “People should be learning that this sort of brutality is unnecessary, unwarranted, and unwanted in Washington, D.C. — and elsewhere. Instead, it seems to be ‘open season.’”

Three local shootings have left the Washington, D.C. transgender community shaken. Bella Evangelista was killed on August 16th, Emonie Spaulding was shot to death in the evening of 20th, and a third victim was found unconscious and critically wounded on the 21st. As of this writing, Walker is in critical condition.

These attacks have taken place in the wake of a locally sponsored event on the one-year anniversary of the dual murder of Stephanie Thomas and Ukea Davis. Their murder remains unsolved in spite of a $50,000 reward.

The Remembering Our Dead project supports the call for inclusive hate crimes protections. “In a year where twelve individuals have reportedly lost their lives to anti-transgender violence in the United States of America,” Smith said, “it is astounding that we have yet to see National hate crimes protections inclusive of gender identity.”

As with the last four years, the Remembering Our Dead project will be holding the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on November 20th, 2003. Events honoring victims of anti-transgender violence will be held in several cities in the United States and beyond, including Washington, D.C.

The Remembering Our Dead project exists to honor individuals murdered as a result of anti-transgender hatred and prejudice, and draw attention to the issue of anti-transgendered violence. Remembering Our Dead is a project of Gender Education and Advocacy, Inc.