The moment I heard about Ashley Moore and the questions surrounding her death began, it created a combination of anger and horror within me. A weak moment of denial that it could not be, another of my trans sisters is gone and swept under the rug, but that is exactly what happened.
The details surrounding the incident is just seeing the light of day, as Ashley was taken from us in April. In April, a clear 4 months ago when her mother Starlet Carbin discovered the loss of her daughter through social media. Then months later, after frequent requests and reaching out to everyone, she would receive a police report and conflicting reports as to what happened to her child.
Immediately my thought was to reach out to Beatrice Simpkins, the Executive Director of the Newark LGBTQ Community Center, who has been pushing to support and find justice for Ashley and her mother. On connecting with Beatrice, it became evident how much she was doing and how much more we needed to do in support of her efforts. I then reached out to all of the LGBTQIA leaders in my city of Newark. All were shocked. All were just finding out. And all of them were ready to rally around Beatrice and Starlet.
Why do we have to rally?
Transwomen of color disappear every day in America and around the world, suffering countless injustices and brutalities, our trans community is being turned away from police and murdered with nowhere to go and no one to turn to in the system.
In 2019, at least 25 transgender or gender non-conforming people were fatally shot or killed by other violent means.*
According to hrc.org
So, we have to protest and advocate, rally, and decry publicly the treatment of the most vulnerable of us.
- The incident occurred in April and the report came months later and has just gained public awareness now in August.
- Her body was found in front of the Newark YMWCA where she was in fact staying as a place of residence.
- There has been a clear mishandling of the case and conflicting reports on the cause of death and the circumstances surrounding her death.
- Ashley Moore was also misgendered in her obituary and in the police report.
The Danger of MISGENDERING
Misgendering far too many transgender and gender non-conforming victims of fatal violence are misgendered after death. Since 2013, at least 80% of all victims have been clearly misgendered by the media or by law enforcement. While this misgendering is extremely disrespectful, it also impedes investigations and data collection. It is imperative that media and law enforcement work to treat victims of anti-transgender violence with the dignity and respect they deserve.
MISGENDERED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AND/OR MEDIA (2013 – 2019)
Ashley matters, and finding some justice in this horrid case matters, too.
Read more about A NATIONAL EPIDEMIC: FATAL ANTI-TRANSGENDER VIOLENCE IN THE UNITED STATES IN 2019 from HRC
The Rallying Cry
1. A real investigation into the death of Ashley Moore
2. Protections and transparency on how the city of Newark will handle cases like this in the future.
3. A statement from our Newark elected officials decrying the violence of our Trans community and actions to provide relief and support of our community.
We held meetings and came together as the LGBTQIA community to support each other, to advocate and protect one another and in the end that is all we have. There will never be a happy ending here, there can only be the shared truth and grief that we have lost a member of the community.
Stay tuned as the initiatives and updates come to light.