Sketch of Suspect Wanted in the Murder of Transgender Woman In Hollywood


by Karen Ocamb
November 18, 2011 | 5:33 PM

With permission

Police are looking for a person matching this description wanted in the murder of a transgender woman named Cassidy (aka Nathan Vickers) who was shot in the chest and killed in Hollywood on Lexington Avenue and Gower Street on Thursday night. He is also suspected in the robbery attempt against another transgender woman in Plummer Park in West Hollywood later that night.(Please click here for more information.)

Police believe that the suspect is possibly responsible for both incidents and should be considered armed with a black semi-automatic and dangerous. If suspect is seen, please contact law enforcement immediately. Do not attempt to apprehend.

Contact Detective Information: Hollywood Homicide Detectives: D. Vinton, Serial No. 31085, (213) 972-2901, 31085@LAPD.LACITY.ORG OR B. Goodkin, Serial No. 37039, (213) 972-2912, 37039@LAPD.LACITY.ORG


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ALERT: Transgender Woman Murdered in Hollywood, Another Shot at in Plummer Park


by Karen Ocamb
November 18, 2011

Reposted with permission

Thursday night, Nov. 17, at around 9:55pm, a transgender woman named Cassidy (aka Nathan Vickers) was shot in the chest and killed in Hollywood on Lexington Avenue and Gower Street.

Police believe the same suspect may have been responsible for the attempted robbery of another African American transgender woman in Plummer Park in West Hollywood. The LAPD Crime Alert says the incident apparently occurred around 10:25 pm when the suspect “fired at the victim once with a black semi-automatic pistol.” The Alert says: “Suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.”

LAPD Det. Jim Hays says that the suspect is described as a Black male, around 5’ 9” tall, about 150 pounds, in his mid 20s-to-30 years old, with light facial hair, wearing a possible dark, hooded sweatshirt. He is believed to be a possible transient. He was last seen leaving Plummer Park riding a Beach-Cruiser-type bicycle.

Hays says the LAPD and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s station are working closely together to find the suspect but would appreciate the public’s help.  If you have any information – please contact:

Hollywood Homicide Detectives: D. Vinton, Serial No. 31085, (213) 972-2901, 31085@LAPD.LACITY.ORG OR B. Goodkin, Serial No. 37039, (213) 972-2912, 37039@LAPD.LACITY.ORG


Transsexual and Transgender Day of Remembrance Weekend

Every year there is this long list of names of people we are supposed to get together and remember after they have been murdered.  They have become martyrs, whose deaths then can be used to push legislation that would do nothing to prevent these murders or even slow the pace at which they are happening.

Over 42 years ago in San Francisco and Berkeley the US Government under the aegis of the War on Poverty was actually doing something that helped anyone  who wanted help to get out of that absolute bottom of the ladder class, even transsexual and transgender people could enter War on Poverty programs and get assistance.

Today, over forty years later the right wing trumpets the big lie of what a failure the War on Poverty was, omitting the fact that the actual War on Poverty was strangled in its infancy by Richard Nixon.  Nixon replaced the War on Poverty with the Welfare Ghetto which was in turn killed off by Bill Clinton and the Republican Contract on America in the 1990s.

Why is this relevant to the murders of transsexual and transgender people in America?

There are two distinct classes of transsexual/transgender folks.  The privileged and the non-privileged.  Many of those among the privileged had a good deal of male privilege before transitioning in middle age, with that male privilege came the money for surgery and  most importantly careers that isolate them from the depredation of the streets, extreme poverty and hopelessness.

Others among those who come out young have white skin privilege, class privilege, educations and supportive loving families that keep them from falling into the lumpen classes where most of these murder victims are found.

The sad truth is that most of the people on the list of TS/TG people, who are murdered are people of color.  Racism is one part of the pattern of victimization that made these people vulnerable.  Religion that tells families to disown these kids is another.  Dire poverty leads people to prostitution.  Sometimes when I hear class and education privileged folks describe prostitution as being both sex-positive and a conscious lifestyle choice I want to smack them upside the head.

I sometimes think prostitution like the rampant drug and alcohol abuse found in both the transgender and transsexual communities are dirty secrets that no one in the rarefied lobbying world of Transgender Inc politics wants to see exposed for fear it will harm legislative efforts to pass such bills as a Trans-inclusive ENDA.

The chickens are coming home to roost on some forty years of class war and the neo-Apartheid that replaced Jim Crow in this country.  The pendulum is swinging back to the left, people are rejecting the Ayn Rand ethos of cruelty and are looking for alternatives that bring us all together.

Perhaps rather than just remembering the TS/TG folks who have been murdered it is time to start demanding solutions that might lessen the appallingly long list of victims we see each year.

Maybe we can act locally while thinking globally.

One thing that might be a good start would be for local support groups to reach out to long term post-SRS women who have been able to live clean and sober after having dealt with substance issues.  Or post-transsexual women who are former sex workers.

Ask them to come and speak at peer support group meetings, listen to them and learn from them rather than dismissing what they have to say.  Take what they are willing to give, but don’t demand they give more than they have to offer, because getting away from the scene is often a vital part in recovery from those issues.

Join with Occupy and make demands for economic justice, real jobs, for living wages along side of all the other minority groups, along side the unemployed and under-employed.

Demand programs that offer job training for everyone who has been discarded by this right wing regime, which operates on the principle of depraved indifference instead of equality and human dignity for all.

While we mourn these victims of obvious violence we need remember how young this violence starts.  The bullying, the parental abuse.  The spiritual abuse that comes from religious tyrants peddling hatred and bigotry in the name of religion.

Those who commit suicide, those who die of drug over doses are victims of the same mindset that led to the murders of those recognized as martyrs.

We, ourselves are guilty of malevolent neglect as long as we pretend not to see these problems within the various transsexual and transgender communities.

It isn’t enough to look at the names on these lists and weep.

It isn’t enough to focus on one aspect of oppression when most of the people getting murdered are oppressed for multiple reasons.

Employment non-discrimination measure won’t help kids who have drug problems and can’t pass a drug test that has become mandatory for employment.

Employment and housing non-discrimination won’t help the throw away transkid who is working the streets because her family threw her out to be prey for the wolves that look for victims among the people who society has declared to be human trash.

We must confront those who peddle hate in the name of religion.

We need to start questioning the steady stream of violence porn that has become a staple of movies and television.

We need to focus on local groups that address the needs of the kids on our own streets instead of funding lobbyists in organizations that continually beg for more money while showing little in the way of actual results.

Perhaps we need to consider supporting local efforts aimed at offering alternatives to addiction and sex work.  Shelters for the throwaway kids and those adult TS/TG folks who are homeless.

Time to Turn Out the Lights on Black Friday?

Time to say, “Fuck you!” to the Banks and Credit Card companies who sell us cheap crap while picking our pockets on interest.

Time to say good bye to the hype machine that bombards our every waking hour with ads telling us how much we need their junk, how much more our lives will be complete if we only buy this or that possession we never even have time to enjoy.

I radically simplified my camera rigs this last summer and found I use the all in one super-zoom camera more than I did the multi-lens DSLR.  Further it fits my needs for what I shoot these days.  Plus I had some extra cash to pay some bills. I’ve started looking at purchases much more carefully and I am working on ending my addiction to consuming as though buying something is a fix.

They started sending “Christmas Catalogs” at Labor Day this year, had “Christmas” trees up in stores the weekend before Halloween.

We don’t make much of anything here in the US, especially not the stuff that gets peddled on us during the “Christmas” season.

I put Christmas in quotes because the corporations have destroyed any and all connection to any sort of religion and replaced it with worship of consumption.

I’m an atheist but I still like holidays and feel more comfortable with those celebrated  in the  Wicca with its ties to earth, nature, sun and yearly cycles.

The nice thing about that is that pagan holidays haven’t been co-opted by the corporations and turned into excuses for buying and consuming.

From In These Times:

By Kari Lydersen
Friday Nov 18, 2011

Next week, the frenzied competition between retailers and shoppers that is Black Friday—the day after Thansgiving, when the Christmas shopping season supposedly begins—will become even more intense. Major outlets, including Walmart, Target and Best Buy, have announced that this year they will actually open on Thanksgiving night, as opposed to the wee hours of Friday morning.

A recent New York Times article explores what this means both for shoppers and for employees of these stores, who now must cut short their Thanksgiving meals and time with family. Workers say that in this economy, they can’t risk saying no to a request to work Thanksgiving day—and many shoppers seem to feel just as compelled to wait in line for hours before stores’ openings to make sure they get first crack at the deals.

The Times reports the encouraging observation that many shoppers are dismayed at the even-earlier opening times, in part because of their concern for store employees. Reporter Stephanie Clifford compares this to the early days of the consumer rights movement – in the late 1800s and early 1900s—before it shifted to being primarily about consumers’ own health and safety as opposed to concern for workers.

Meanwhile, for this year at least, many workers and consumers sound unable to resist the move to open earlier, even if they oppose it. Clifford writes:

Anthony Hardwick, 29, who works at a Target store in Omaha, said he would have to leave Thanksgiving dinner with his fiancée’s family so he could sleep before starting a shift around 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving, followed on Friday by a shift at his other job, at OfficeMax.

I’ve never gone shopping on Black Friday, so maybe I don’t understand just how good the deals are. But the idea that people feel compelled to wait in line for hours and lose sleep and family time to save some money brings up larger questions. I understand that much of the shopping is for Christmas presents, which are for family members, but the idea that people are foregoing valuable family time at Thanksgiving in order to be first in line to get a cheaper Christmas gift for what may be the same family members seems counterintuitive and disturbing.

Continue reading at:

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Girl Takes Life After Gender-Based Taunting

From The Advocate:

By Trudy Ring
November 15, 2011

A 10-year-old Illinois girl has committed suicide after enduring bullying that included being called a boy when she had her hair cut short.

Ashlynn Conner, who lived in the small town of Ridge Farm in eastern Illinois, was found hanged in her closet Friday night, and family members believe she took her own life due to bullying and teasing that had gone on for several years, the Associated Press reports.

“When she started cheering for youth football, we’d gotten her hair cut in a bob,” said Lory Hackney, her grandmother. “The kids started making fun of her then. They started calling her a boy.” She was subsequently called “fat,” “ugly,” and “slut,” relatives said.

Vermilion County sheriff Pat Hartshorn said investigators “are not ruling out bullying, but we don’t have any firm evidence to support bullying,” the AP reports.

However, Ashlynn’s mother, Stacy Conner, said the girl came home from school Thursday complaining about taunting by fellow students and asked if she could be home-schooled. Stacy told Ashlynn, a fifth-grade honor roll student who hoped to become a veterinarian, that she would discuss the teasing with her school principal this week. But Friday, shortly after having a phone conversation with a friend about the problem, Ashlynn was discovered hanging in the closet. Hackney, a retired nurse, tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate her granddaughter.

“I don’t know what was so bad she couldn’t wait,” Hackney told the AP.

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Activists protest mistreatment of transgender people in D.C.

From The Washington Post:

By Teresa Tomassoni,
Published: November 17, 2011

Xion Lopez came out as a transgender woman in August. Since then, the 20-year-old Northeast resident said, she has feared for her life.

“Every morning before I walk out of the house, I pray for safety,” she said at a Thursday rally outside the U.S. Attorney’s Office in downtown Washington, where she and about 35 other activists demanded that the District do more to protect transgender people from what they call a recent surge in violence and police bias against them.

Since July, at least 20 transgender women have been assaulted in the city, said Jason Terry, a volunteer from the DC Trans Coalition who testified Nov. 2 before the D.C. Council about police response to hate crimes.

Lopez’s friend Lashay Mclean, 23, who also identified as a woman, was fatally shot in the city’s Northeast in July. Police said two people walked up to Mclean, a.k.a. Myles Mclean, and another person, and one pulled out a semiautomatic handgun and shot McLean.

In September, Gaurav Gopalan, 35, an aeronautical engineer and theater director, was found dead in Columbia Heights while dressed in women’s clothing, although some of his close friends did not identify him as transgender. The death was later ruled a homicide by the D.C. medical examiner’s office, which cited “blunt-impact head trauma.” Neither slaying has been solved.

Complete article at:

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Children’s Ombudsman / Every Child Has The Right To…Dave’s story

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