By Erica L.
There have been 6 reported deaths in Cleveland, 1 in Cincinnati since 2012
5 out of the 7 were women of color
Also check out the HRC 2015 Municipal Equality Index Scorecard for Cleveland
"Ohio has been one of the worst in the nation when it comes to hate crimes against transgender women of color. Four transgender women have been killed in Ohio since January of 2013, three of them were transgender women of color; a shocking rate given transgender people are only .3 percent of the U.S. population, transgender women perhaps only .2 percent, and transgender women of color a fraction of that." - via Huffington Post
"Though violence against transgender people is widely considered a national epidemic by LGBT advocates, the state of Ohio has seen a particularly disturbing trend. Tiffany Edwards was the fourth transgender woman killed in Ohio in the last 20 months. Three of the victims were transgender women of color. The Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO) also reports 14 incidents of non-fatal hate-motivated attacks on transgender people throughout the state in 2013. Many attacks go unreported. Most recently in Ohio, on Nov. 3, Candice Rose Milligan, 33, was hospitalized after being beaten in broad daylight by a group of men who allegedly yelled, “That’s a dude in a dress,” the Toledo Blade reported." - via Buzzfeed
"FBI statistics from 2007 to 2012, according to a Ohio legislature fiscal note, found a record-high 63 hate crimes in Ohio in 2012 against people for their sexual orientation. There was no FBI data on transgender people for those years."
1. Bri Golec, 02.13.2015
Bri Golec, a 22-year-old living in Akron, Ohio, was just beginning to explore a transgender identity when stabbed to death by their father February 13, 2015. Kevin Golec, 52, has been charged with murder and felony domestic violence. Police detained him shortly after 10 p.m. Friday after responding to several calls to 911 he made alleging that several members of a "cult" had broken into his house to commit robbery and had attacked both him and Bri Golec. With no evidence of a robbery, however, police determined that Golec was lying and that it was he who had had an altercation with and fatally stabbed his child.
Several advocates believe that Kevin Golec's statement about a nonexistent cult may be a reference to a trans support group Bri Golec had allegedly begun attending again, notes Pennsylvania LGBT blog Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondent. According to a bandmate, Brian dropped the trans identifier about a year ago. He now identified as an androgynous pansexual man
2. Tiffany Edwards 06.26.2014
Tiffany Edwards, 28, was shot to death in Walnut Hills, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, on June 26, 2014. Quamar Edwards — who is not related to Tiffany — turned himself in six days later, after police issued a warrant for his arrest. In attempting to justify his actions, Edwards reportedly voiced a "trans panic" defense through an uncle, who alleged that the assailant "lost his cool" after Tiffany "came on to him." While it remains unclear whether Quamar Edwards drew on this defense during his trial, an argument that excuses a murderer by claiming his internalized transphobia "drove" him to kill has been repeatedly discouraged by the American Bar Association and was banned in California in September.
3. Leelah Acorn 12.28.2014
The LGBTQ community is exiting 2014 on a tragic note with the death of Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender teen from Ohio who, according to reports, committed suicide early Sunday morning. Alcorn’s passing has become an international story due to the public nature of the event—she was struck by a tractor-trailer on the interstate—and to an eloquent Tumblr post that she had scheduled to go live in the event of her death. In her post, Alcorn speaks of her Christian parents’ refusal to accept her trans identity and her sense that life could not get better if she had to wait to transition any longer. She committed suicide by walking out in front of oncoming traffic on the Interstate 71 highway. In December 2015, Cincinnati became the second U.S. city after Washington D.C. to ban the practice of conversion therapy outright; council member Chris Seelbach cited Alcorn's suicide as an influence in the decision, stating that "She challenged us to make her death matter, and we're doing just that.
4. Cernia 'Ce Ce' Dove (Acoff) 01.27.2013
Cernia 'Ce Ce' Dove (Acoff), 20 years old, was stabbed to death in the Cleveland area on January 5 by Andrey Bridges, authorities later confirmed. Ce Ce's decomposed body was found April 17 at the bottom of the Olmsted Township retention pond, stabbed and with a rope tied from her waist to a concrete block. She was 20 years old. It took two weeks to identify her through DNA records. She had been reported missing on 27 March 2013 (via wiki). In November, her killer was convicted and sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 20 years.
Following her murder in April 2013, CeCe Acoff was treated to a massive dose of sensationalistic, incorrect reporting. Describing her as an “oddly dressed man,”The Plain Dealer smeared Acoff and attacked her character. In the two stories about her: “Brutal slaying marks the end of Cleveland man’s fight for acceptance” and “Oddly dressed man found in Olmsted Township pond identified,” Acoff is never actually identified as a woman, and is never once referred to using she/her pronouns. After GLAAD became involved with The Plain Dealer‘s “horrific coverage,” the paper edited the online version of Acoff’s story by going out of their way to avoid all pronouns rather than treat her with even a tiny amount of respect.
5. Brittany-Nicole Kidd-Stergis 12.06.2013
The body of Brittany-Nicole Kidd-Stergis, a 22-year-old transgender woman of color, was found in her parked car on the 21200 block of West 25th Street in Cleveland, outside a public housing facility, around 2:30 a.m. Friday (December 6, 2013), according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. She died of an apparent gunshot wound to the head. Six months later, 19-year-old Delshawn D. Carroll was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison after confessing to the murder. While motive remains unclear, officials say that Stergis, who was an aspiring cosmetology student, knew her killer.
6. Betty Skinner 12.04.2013
Betty Skinner, 52, was found December 4, 2013, at her Cleveland senior apartment complex, dead from severe head injuries. A physically disabled woman who required assisted living, she was unable to leave her bed during the attack. Police have not revealed any leads or suspects.
7. Kendall Hampton 08.23.2012 (Cincinnati)