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Telling our stories has proven to be one of the most effective ways to improve our condition.  So I decided to sprinkle some of them on your Earth Day.

Transman Shawn Watkins-Murphy says
 

I don’t get why people have to hate me.  I’m here to be a friend.
In spite of Shawn's high school canceling the national Day of Silence, Shawn wanted to speak out to the area in which he lives, to the people in Alexandria, NJ, which is situated along the Delaware River east of the Allentown/Bethlehem, PA area. and to his fellow students at Delaware Valley High School.

He’s a teenager, with feelings. And he notices when students stare, and then whisper to friends. He respects those who have a question and “ask me directly” He answers “to the best of my knowledge.” He paused, then added, “It makes me happy if they ask me about myself, and do not assume things.”
With the cancellation of the event at the high school, Shawn turned to the local media and was interviewed by Renee Kiriluk-Hill of the Hunterdon Democrat for an article that appeared at nj.com.
It’s easier in academic classes — particularly German and history — and Shawn hopes that he’ll be accepted at Rutgers University in a couple of years, where he wants to study criminology and then works with troubled teens, to “help them stay out of trouble, and become a well-rounded person.”
In contrast is the story of Paige Clay, a 23 year-old transwoman found last Monday morning with a single gunshot wound to her forehead in an alley in Chicago's West Garfield Park neighborhood.  Originally only described as "a transgender individual" by investigators, Paige's story is now being given voice by Brian Turner, who runs a program for transwomen called Women of Many Voices in which Paige participated.

Turner was not allowed to identify the body because he was not "immediate family", though Turner reports that his aunt is Clay's foster mother.

She has people who love her who were not her immediate family, but they were family.
Clay was apparently well known in the Chicago ball community, winning several competitions,  and held several part-time jobs (McDonald's, Wendy's, Forever 21 clothing store...).
She was a human being just like anyone else and she was trying to do better.

--Brian Turner

One of her favorite sentences was, apparently…
If you're quiet as a mouse, no one will hear you.
Turner has organized an event called Justice for Paige for May 1, 6:30-9pm, at Taskforce, 9 Cicero Avenue.
[We want to] do what we can do to bring this person into custody and do what we can do as a community to get us back on track,.  Comfort one another and ensure that this does not happen to another trans girl.

--Brian Turner

Transgender women face some of the highest rates of violence and abuse in our nation. This is the third reported murder of a transgender woman in the U.S. in April alone.

We must work together to create more safety in our world for all people, especially those most targeted.

--Modesto Tico Valle, CEO of Center on Halsted

I only am aware of one other transwoman murdered in the US in April myself.

Coko Williams, 35, was found shot to death in Detroit's Palmer Park neighborhood, near the intersection of Woodward Avenue and Six Mile Road (McNichols Road) on Tuesday morning, April 3.

The area is known, apparently, as a haven for sex workers.  The press generally made that the focus of the story.

To be clear, it is unknown at this time whether Ms. Williams was engaged in sex work at the time of her killing, however, it is clear that sex workers are often targets of severe violence.

--Detroit Free Press

Coko was described as a loner.  So the photo by which she will be remembered is probably the one on the right.

It could be the case that the area is the only sort of area that a transwoman could find someplace to dwell.  Detroit's Fox News affiliate turned the story about a murdered transwoman into a story about trash in the neighborhood.

We are saddened to hear of yet another life ended too soon.  Our thoughts go out to Ms. Williams' family and friends who have suffered a great loss.  We urge anyone with information about Coko's killing to contact the Detroit Police.

--Nusrat Ventimiglia, director of victim's services for Equality Michigan

She was really a sweet, quiet girl.  She was never shady or nasty.  She wasn't that type of girl at all.  She was always respectful of herself and to other people.  It's sad for her to go out the way she did.

--Dada, friend of Coko

In an attempt to raise the mood after that interlude, let me conclude with the so-far successful life of Japanese television celebrity Ai Haruna, who has recently shared a two-part profile with the Asian press.  Note that in Japan, transgender people are often referred to as "newhalfs".

Part 1

Part 2

Or, if you understand Japanese, this might help.  If you are like me and don't understand Japanese, I think you can still get the drift.


newhalf Ai Haruna biography (after & before) by halfmotion

And here is Ai performing.

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