The National Center for Transgender Equality has reported the first known transgender person murdered in 2019.
Dana Martin, 31, of Hope Hull, Alabama, was found in a car that had crashed in a ditch with a gunshot wound to her head.
According to Capt. Regina Duckett of Montgomery Police Department, no additional information is available at this time while the case is being investigated. The murder is not being classified as a hate crime, due to Alabama’s hate crime laws, which do not include sexual orientation or gender identity.
In police reports, as often happens to transgender murder victims, Martin was misgendered as a male. Duckett states that Martin is misgendered in Montgomery Police Department legal and forensic documents because in their department, how a victim identifies is a “personal matter that becomes relevant to our investigation only if it is determined to be a reason the victim was killed.”
In 2018, it was reported by the Human Rights Campaign that 26 transgender people were murdered. In 2017 the number was a staggering 29 people, being referred to as “the deadliest year for transgender people.”
Martin’s death is yet another reminder that transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people are still targeted for living as their true selves.
Rest in Power Dana Martin!