Thousands Condemn Murder of

Earlier this week thousands of people marched in Manhattan, New York to denounce a stark increase in violence against the gay community in the city and specifically the brutal aggressive shooting on of Mark Carson last weekend.

Openly gay Mark Carson was shot in the face after being followed and subjected to homophobic verbal abuse and slurs in through New York’s Greenwich Village. Witnesses claim the man charged with Carson’s murder, Elliot Morales, asked him “Do you want to die here?” and “What are you, gay wrestlers?” before shooting him in the face.

New York City Police Department chief Ray Kelly said, “It is clear that the victim here was killed only because, and just because, he was thought to be gay,”

Many are shocked by the crime, believing New York, which legalised same-sex marriage in 2011 was a safe place for gay people to live. Indeed the area of Greenwich Village is a well gay friendliness and acceptance. “There aren’t supposed to be anti-gay hate crimes taking place almost in the shadow of the Stonewall Inn,” said political analyst Richard Socarides.

On Monday, thousands of people took to the streets to protest against the shooting. Some of those present carried placards dedicated to “gay angel Mark Carson” whilst some others chanted slogans like “Hate No, Gun Control Yes” and “Homophobia’s got to go”.

The New York Police Department have said anti-gay bias crimes in the area have risen sharply compared to the equivalent period last year, from 14 incidents to 24. However the figures may not tell the whole truth for many believe that only a few anti-gay crimes are actually reported to the police for a number of reasons, not least the fear of not being treated fairly.

Morales has yet make a plea and is currently being held in custody without bail.

Nov. 20th is the 14th Annual Transgender Day of Remembrance

Remembering Trans Heroine Rita Hester And Others

Just five weeks after the murder of Matthew Shepard, Rita Hester, a black transgender performer, was murdered on November 28, 1998 in her first floor apartment outside of Boston. To this day, the heinous crime has gone unsolved. Hester’s murder kicked off the “Remembering Our Dead” web project and a Candlelight Vigil in San Francisco in 1999.

Initially a response to Rita’s murder, the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) day honors Rita  as well as other transgender people who lost their lives  to anti-gay violence.


There are more than 120 separate vigils and events around the world to commemorate the horrific loss of transgender lives. This year, TDOR honors 265 trans people (13 in the United States) murdered because of hate. It’s also a time to stand in solidarity against hate-based violence, according to Human Rights Campaign’s President Chad Griffin.

 Staggering Statistics on Anti-Transgender Violence

  • From January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2011, there have been 816 reports of people who died from anti-transgender violence in 55 countries. – The Trans Murder Monitoring Project.
  • Twelve percent of reported hate crimes were against transgender people – National Coalition of Anti-Violence Program, 2008.
  • Forty percent of murders against the LGBT community in 2011 were against transgender women, especially African-American ones. 
  • Seventy-eight percent of transgender children in grades K-12 report being harassed in school, 35 percent physically assaulted, and 12 percent sexually assaulted, according to a 2011 report from The National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
  • At least one trans person has been killed every month for the past decade, according to Transgender Day of Remembrance’s website.

Present Case in Maine: Transgender Girl Being Bullied for 2 Years

Susan Doe is one of the seventy-eight percent of transgender children in grades K-12 being harassed in school. GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders is New England’s leading legal rights organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status and gender identity and expression), filed a lawsuit for this transgender girl who has been  bullied for over two years by a male classmate who goes unpunished.

The case Doe v. Clenchy was filed by GLAD because the officials at Susan’s elementary school denied her the use of the girls’ restroom and other facilities and restricted her participation in school activities.  Maine has a statewide law prohibiting discrimination against people based on gender identity and expression in all areas, including public education and public accommodations. Despite Maine’s law “ a transgender girl, whom the school acknowledged is a girl, needs to be able to live consistent with her gender,” a Maine trial court judge dismissed the case today which GLAD is appealing.

Know Your Rights As a Transgender

Lambda Legal has a website:  for transgender or gender-nonconforming (TGNC) persons.  This site outlines policies for bathrooms and locker rooms, bullying (how to prevent or handle anti-TGNC violence at school or out-of-home care), how to be an ally for TGNC Youth with Do’s and Don’ts for supportive peers and adults, info on legal rights for Transgender Youth, and TGNC-Friendly Schools, a checklist for students, staff and parents seeking a supportive and safe school environment.