DALLAS — Robyn Crowe has been an emotional wreck for more than a week. That’s when she found out that Muhlaysia Booker — her friend, her rock, effectively a family member — had been killed, her body found on a quiet street.
Booker, who was 23, is far from the first black transgender woman in Dallas to have her life cut short. Brittany White, 29, was shot to death in October 2018. Shade Schuler, just 22, was found dead in 2015 — she had been shot and left in a vacant field. And last May, 26-year-old Carla Patricia Flores-Pavón, a trans Latina woman, was strangled to death. In that case, police suspect a robbery and a man has been charged with her murder.
Crowe, who is transgender, said she can’t help but wonder — am I next?
“Is my life in jeopardy?” she asked. “Because this is not a game, someone’s life is gone.”
None of these killings of black trans women have been solved, none of the killers caught. Police announced there are similarities between Booker's and White’s killings and an April 13 stabbing that the victim — a black trans woman — survived.
For many black transgender women in this city, this attention from authorities and the larger community is coming far too late and after too high a human cost. Discrimination has made it hard for them to find employment, meaning many people “in the trans community who’s low income has done sex work because it’s survival work,” Nell Gaither, the president of Dallas’s Trans Pride Initiative, said.