A suspect remains at large in the January 24 shooting of 24-year-0ld Candice Elease Pinky, who was shot 5 times in broad daylight at a gas station in Houston, Texas. Pinky survived the attack and was rushed a local hospital. There are currently no updates on her condition.
The suspect is described as an "approximately 5′ 8″ Black male assailant wearing a gray hoodie [who] got away in a light colored SUV, possibly a Honda."
News of the attack comes on the heels of a wave of underreported violence against trans women of color. On January 6, Dana Martin's body was discovered in her vehicle in a roadside ditch with a fatal gunshot wound. The Human Rights Campaign reports that in 2018, five trans women of color were murdered during a single three-week period. In 2017, at least 29 transgender people in the U.S. were killed.
While the specifics of the cases differ, there is an alarming consistency in the way in which these crimes are reported in the media: Like Martin, Pinky was originally misgendered in news reports of the crime.
Members of Austin's Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT) were able to verify her identity and in a Facebook post the group addressed the danger of misgendering trans victims of violence which reads, in part, "The initial report listed her as a woman, but then later in the same report went on to state her gender marker identified her as male. Unfortunately, this is a story that plays out far too often in our community. Due to the complicated process and financial barriers that our community face when changing our identification to match who we truly are many of us do not have the means or access to be able to have a state issued license or ID that identifies us correctly as who we are."
GLAAD has issued a call to the media to not only report on the high levels of violence faced by transgender Americans but to also report on these cases with dignity and respect, explaining that, "disregarding the victim's gender identity and misgendering them in news reports adds further insult to injury, compounding the tragedy by invalidating who the victims were."
As Pinky recovers from her injuries, friends have set up a fundraising page urging visitors to "come together as a community and protect and love one another no matter what one may identify as sexually."