For trans women of color facing violence, each day is a fight for survival

Original article by: Ignacio Torres, Jessica Hopper & JuJu Chang

Reposted by: Jessica Paul

Those who knew Muhlaysia Booker say she’s the type of person who can instantly brighten your day.

“She’s very infectious,” said Jessica Anderson, one of Booker’s best friends. “I don’t care if you’re in the worst mood…she’s most definitely going to bring you out of that.”

Booker, 22, an out and proud trans woman from Dallas, has been a beacon for other trans women who admire her.

“I have been trans all these years but I mostly lived in my house… She made me want to get out and live, and just be visible,” said Jazmine Deamon, another one of Booker’s friends and her self-appointed “Auntie.”

But Booker’s visibility made her a target. In April, Booker was involved in a fender bender that escalated into a horrifying assault at an apartment complex where a crowd cheered her assailants on.

“The whole apartment complex was outside… and nobody helped her. It actually gives me the chills,” said Deamon at the site of where her friend was brutally beaten.

Bystanders captured video of the encounter, which showed a man in a white long-sleeved T-shirt and white pants as he ran up to Booker and threw her down. Several other men joined in on the assault, stomping and kicking Booker as she struggled on the ground. Eventually, a group of women intervened.

Booker, who sustained a concussion and a fractured wrist in the gruesome beating, told police that the men yelled homophobic and transphobic slurs at her.

After the beating, Booker asked for Deamon.

“I get her and I put her in my bed. I took all her clothes off. They were full of blood,” Deamon said. “I just start praying over her… She pulled me by my shirt and she tells me, ‘Auntie, I told you they hate us… Our own people hate us. They want us dead.’”

“This happens on the daily,” Deamon continued. “It breaks my heart. It’s reality. It’s reality. As a black trans woman, it makes me feel scared. I feel alone. I feel ashamed. I feel abandoned. I feel hopeless.”

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