Fight This Hate: A Weekly Roundup

Transgender woman murdered

The 25th transgender person of the year has been murdered. She was murdered in Macon, Georgia, near where she lived. She had been missing for three days before she was found at the end of the driveway, shot to death.

Candace Towns was known as a generous person. She was also Black. Sixty-four percent of the victims have been killed in the South, which among the four U.S. census regions has the fewest states that currently provide non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people in education, employment, hate crimes, housing and public accommodations.

So far this year, 21 of the 25 transgender victims of fatal violence, have been women of color. Sixteen were Black or African American.

Transgender woman elected

Democrat Danica Roem ousted longtime incumbent Del. Robert Marshall, R, Tuesday, according to preliminary returns, becoming the first openly transgender elected official in Virginia – and one of very few in the nation.

Not only did Roem make history by becoming the first transgender woman to represent in the Virginia House of Delegates, she beat the bigoted author of the infamous bathroom bill.

At least seven other openly trans candidates also won office around the country:

  • Andrea Jenkins won a city council seat in Minneapolis, becoming the first openly transgender woman of color elected to public office in the U.S.
  • Phillipe Cunningham, a black queer transgender man, was also elected to the Minneapolis City Council.
  • Tyler Titus won a seat on the Erie School Board, becoming the first openly transgender person elected in Pennsylvania.
  • Lisa Middleton was elected to the Palm Springs City Council, becoming the first openly transgender person elected to a non-judicial office in California (and making for an all-LGBTQ city council!)
  • Gerri Cannon was elected to the Somerswoth School Board in New Hampshire.
  • Stephe Kootz won a seat on the Doraville City Council in Georgia, making her the only transgender elected official in Georgia.
  • Raven Matherne was elected to a seat on the Stamford Board of Representatives in Connecticut, becoming the state’s first transgender elected official.

How did this happen? It was no accident. The Victory Fund, which works to elect LGBTQ candidates and trains them through partner organization the Victory Institute, had branded 2017 in particular as “the year of the transgender candidate”—a prediction that came true November 7th. Read this article for more information on how candidates were trained.

Hate lost and diversity won on this election night. The fight is not over, but do take time to celebrate the wins.

More transgender news

Germany’s Parliament has been ordered to create new term for birth certificates and other official documents by the end of 2018, as they move forward to create a third gender other than female and male. The ruling came after an intersex person, who is neither a man nor woman according to chromosomal analysis, brought a legal challenge after attempting to change their registered sex to “inter” or “divers”.

Judges ruled that the current requirements are incompatible with Germany’s constitution, violating provisions on privacy and discrimination.

Already, several other countries recognize more than two genders on passports or national ID cards; these include Australia, Bangladesh, India, Malta, Nepal, New Zealand and Pakistan. But not the United States or any European countries. Germany will be the first.

Although India may not be the best place to be LGBTQQIA, their law does recognize a third gender, because there is reference to it in Hindu scripture. Here is an article describing the history of the third gender movement in that country.

Continue the fight

Support the Human Rights Campaign by donating to the HRC.

Donate to The Victory Fund to help get more LGBTQ candidates elected.


Sandra de Helen, author of the lesbian thriller Till Darkness Comes also pens the Shirley Combs/Dr. Mary Watson series. She is a poet, journalist, and a playwright. Her plays have been produced in the Philippines, Ireland and Canada, Chicago, New York City, and in thirteen states. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Dramatists Guild. Her books are available online, at Another Read Through Bookstore in Portland, Oregon, and Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego. Samples of her work are available on her website.

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