India Clarke Is The 10th Trans Woman To Be Murdered This Year
A 25-year-old Black trans woman, India Clarke, was found murdered near Tampa, Florida’s University Area Community Center. She was found at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, and died of blunt force trauma. She had last been seen spending time with her nephews.
Clarke is the 10th trans woman to be murdered in the U.S. since the beginning of 2015. By contrast, 12 trans women were murdered in the entirety of 2014, although keeping track becomes complicated by misgendering on police reports. Officials in Tampa haven’t publicly stated yet that Clarke’s death is a hate crime, but her father, Samuel Clarke, has acknowledged that it might be.
Meanwhile, it’s by and large only LGBT news outlets that are reporting on the epidemic of violence trans women – and particularly trans women of color – have faced for years. In Tampa, WTSP’s story on Clarke’s death insisted on calling her “a man” and “a son” and brought up prior arrests that didn’t lead to convictions, beyond the fact that their reporter couldn’t bring herself to affirm Clarke as a trans woman, but rather, in the headline, called her a “transgendered person.” Bay News 9 deadnamed India and referred to her as “a body.” The problem with this kind of reporting is that it contributes to the public’s dismissal of ongoing murders of trans women as not hate-related and not an epidemic, when 2015 has been a particularly tragic year for the trans* community.
A Tampa organization, Crime Stoppers, is offering $3000 for information that leads to the arrest of a suspect or suspects.