Ashlee Marie Preston

'We’re left to defend ourselves on the margins': 8 black trans women have been murdered this year

The body of 26-year-old Chynal Lindsey was recovered Saturday from a lake in Northeast Dallas. Police said they are investigating her death as a homicide. Chynal is the third transgender black woman killed in Dallas since October, including the high-profile death of Muhlaysia Booker just two weeks ago. Another Dallas trans woman was stabbed multiple times in April but survived. Trans rights activists say the violence in Dallas is indicative of the larger threat to black transgender women. At least eight black trans women have been murdered in the U.S. this year. According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 26 transgender murders were recorded last year, although it’s likely the actual number is higher; the majority of those were black transgender women. We speak with Ashlee Marie Preston, a media personality and civil rights activist. She made history as the first transgender editor-in-chief of a national publication—Wear Your Voice magazine—as well as the first openly trans person to run for state office in California. She says, “Our law enforcement are looking at black trans women as women who are breaking the law, instead of looking at the laws that are breaking black trans women.”

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