Black Woman Who Identified as Transgender Brutally Murdered

by Xara Aziz
Voiced by Amazon Polly

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has penned a letter after a 29-year-old transgender Black woman was violently killed in Kansas City, Missouri earlier this year.

Kandii Redd, known affectionately as Dee Dee, was tragically attacked and murdered because of her gender identity. Known as Kamila Marie Swann, the woman has now become at least the 25th transgender or non-conforming gender person to die this year.

Details into her death are scarce, but the model and performer was a loved woman who had a zeal for life.

“Tragically, interpersonal violence accounts for a significant number of fatalities against transgender and gender non-conforming people,” the letter from HRC reads.

In a report by the HRC Foundation, “An Epidemic of Violence 2021,” found that approximately two-thirds of transgender and gender non-conforming people were killed by an acquaintance, friend, family member or intimate partner between 2013 and 2021. Intimate partners led these numbers with over 20% of them considered to be the known perpetrators. Moreover, 54% of transgender and non-binary people have experienced some form of intimate partner violence in their life, according to 2015 figures from a United States Transgender Survey.

“In an injustice compounding this tragedy, Dee Dee was misgendered in some media and police reports. Anti-transgender stigma is exacerbated by callous or disrespectful treatment by some in the media, law enforcement and elected offices,” the letter states.

It continues: “At the state level, transgender and gender non-conforming people in Missouri are not explicitly protected from discrimination in employment, housing, education and public spaces. Missouri does include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics in its hate crimes law.”

HRC is demanding that legislators enact laws at the local, state and federal levels to address the issue that disproportionally affects transgender women of color, especially Black transgender women. “The intersections of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia and homophobia conspire to deprive them of the necessities to live and thrive, so we must all work together to cultivate acceptance, reject hate and end stigma for everyone in the trans and gender non-conforming community.”

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