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Organizations respond to murder of trans Chicagoan
by Matt Simonette
2020-06-24

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A number of organizations released statements on the May murder of a Chicago Latinx transgender woman who, at the time of her death, had been misgendered by both authorities and local media.

Selena Reyes-Hernandez, 37, was allegedly shot and killed by a man upon his learning that she was transgender. After killing her, according to multiple reports, the man allegedly left Reyes-Hernandez's home, only to return and shoot her again.

The killing occurred May 31, but Reyes-Hernandez's gender identity was not widely known until her assailant was arraigned June 16.

"Our community continues to face transphobic violence, police violence, and systemic violence," said representatives of Howard Brown Health on Facebook on June 17. "We cannot remain silent while trans women of color are murdered. Selena Reyes Hernandez was a Chicagoan living her truth. We mourn her passing and vow to fight for and uplift all trans women."

"Selena Reyes-Hernandez. Say her name. Use her pronouns," said representatives of ACLU of Illinois on Facebook on June 17. "In life and death, trans people should be recognized and remembered for exactly who they are. Selena Reyes-Hernandez should still be alive today. Her death is a reminder of the violence that transgender people, especially transgender women of color, continue to face daily in this city, state, and country."

In a June 17 statement on Twitter, representatives of the Transgender Law Center said, "We are just learning about the murder of Selena Reyes-Hernandez, a 37-year-old trans Latina woman who lived in Chicago. We are heartbroken over the violence that she endured in her last breaths."

In a June 18 statement, officials for the Chicago Commission on Human Relations said, "This killing reminds us how deep hate continues to be in this country. It reminds us that there are still those who believe being trans does not give a person the right to life.

"Being trans should not be a death sentence. As the CCHR recently stated in response to the George Floyd shooting, Black lives, and all lives matter! This includes Trans lives! When human beings are treated as disposable, it sickens our stomachs and makes us ponder the true depths of our progress as a nation. Hate followed up by violence against anyone is wrong! Black, White, Gay, Trans, anyone!"


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