A 22-year-old trans woman of color (TWOC) found dead in a vacant field in Texas on July 29th has finally been identified as Shade Schuler. Schuler is the 13th trans woman murdered in the United States in 2015, meaning this year’s total already exceeds the number of transgender women killed in 2014.
When found, Schuler was originally identified as a male. With help from Trans Pride Initiative’s Nell Gaither, though, authorities correctly identified Schuler as a trans woman, ending a two-week investigation. Despite this correction, many news releases continue to misgender Schuler.
There is a petition to formally investigate the transphobic violence leading to the rising death toll of transgender women of color in the U.S., as the death toll for trans women continues to rise. While all trans people, men and women of all races, are subject to violent acts, the horrific murders of trans women, specifically trans women of color, continues under the radar. Hopefully awareness brought to this epidemic of tragedies will help to protect trans people everywhere from this violence.
Anyone with information may call Detective Chaney in the Dallas Police Department Homicide Unit at 214-671-3650 and refer to case number 174511-2015. Those who wish to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 214-373-TIPS (8477).
Image via TransEquality