Another transgender woman was found dead on Monday, August 31 in New York. Elie Che, a 23-year-old originally from the UK, was discovered on Orchard Beach shore in the Bronx. The cause of death has yet to be revealed, but all signs point to the continued uptick of violence towards trans women in 2020.
Friends, family and supporters took to Twitter to mourn her death and seek justice. "She was a MASSIVE part of the London queer nightlife and was loved and respected by everybody," wrote on user. "I don't think any of our hearts will be able to fully mend over this, we're all in pieces right now."
"You will not be forgotten," wrote another person. "Thank you for showing up and showing out. A vision of beauty."
Rest In Peace to my sis Elie Che. Her body was found on a bronx beach early monday. You will not be forgotten. Thank you for showing up and showing out. A vision of beauty. #BlackTransLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/gBsriulwa7
— 🌼🌸SIS THEE ACTIVIST🌸🌼 (@ucancallmesis) September 2, 2020
In July, Che created a GoFundMe to assist with the cost of transitioning and relocating to New York. "As some of you may know, transitioning is a long, very expensive journey," she wrote. "I think people are finally understanding this and the issues among black trans women who have an average lifespan of 35 years old, I want to make it past that."
Violence towards trans people in 2020, through the first seven months of 2020, has already surpassed the total for all of last year. The National Center for Transgender Quality reported last month that 28 transgender people had been murdered up until that point, compared to 26 for all of 2019. Of this year's victims, 23 had been transgender women, with the NCTQ noting that "the epidemic of violence is particularly pronounced for Black and Latina trans women."
On August 16, three trans women were brutally attacked in Los Angeles while waiting for a taxi to take them home. Eden Estrada, Joslyn Allen and Jaslene Busanet were beaten, had transphobic slurs yelled at them, and some of their belongings were taken — all the while, bystanders watched and livestreamed the incident.
It's one of the latest of a long string of incidents this year that prove that the treatment of trans women, particularly those that are Black and Latina, needs to improve drastically. Situations like Che's, and that of Estrada Allen, and Busanet can be prevented in the future.
Photo via Twitter
- Meet Puerto Rico's Queer and Trans Change-Makers - PAPER ›
- Thousands Gather in New York to Support Black Trans Lives - PAPER ›
- How to Demand Justice for Black Trans People Right Now - PAPER ›