Tyra Trent, a 25-year-old trans sex worker, was found asphyxiated to death in the basement of an empty Baltimore apartment. She had been reported missing two weeks prior.
Trent, who was born Anthony, was in the process of legally changing her name and getting her GED. Police are investigating the murder though a motive has not yet been determined. Her body was discovered by a man searching for his missing dog.
If you’re a prostitute, straight or transgender, working the street is dangerous. They are attacked because the perps think they can get away with it, and they often do. I’ve known a number of them who have disappeared, and without anyone to account for their whereabouts, no one cares. So they should be prepared with self-defense, and they should let someone know where they are going. And fellow workers should watch each other’s backs.
Kev, while I agree with you about the dangers of sexwork, especially for trans women, please don’t jump to conclusions about how she died and what the context of that crime was. There are many trans women who have been murdered who weren’t sexworkers. There have been many trans women who were murdered who were sexworkers but weren’t murdered within the context of their “jobs.” Let’s not instantly assume, without any proof, that she was murdered because she was doing risky behavior because lots of trans women are attacked because of who they are not that they’re doing no matter what the media would like us to believe.
@gina: It’s reasonable to assume that she was murdered by a john because of the location and manner, strangled, close contact, in an abandoned house.
I feel sorry for this young woman. As evidenced by the whopping three comments on this story, it’s obvious that her case will be forgotten. It’s likely to be relegated into obscurity like the stories of many other missing or murdered trans people, because in mainstream society (and from what it looks like gay culture as well) the lives of the transgendered don’t matter.
@Frank As a transgender person, I am most certainly following this story. I was reluctant to post because of the racism and transphobia that surrounds sites like this
Are these blogs really racist and transphobic? They don’t even cover other cases like this one. http://articles.philly.com/2011-02-09/news/27328786_1_patrick-michael-brady-murder-hearings-murder-trial
Its par for the course if you’re transgendered you’re a pariah and people will only cheer your death and suffering. Don’t expect any sympathy from anyone but other transgendered people.
Since they’re such a tiny minority nothing will ever change. They have no political clout without the GLB community and the GLB community has shown repeatedly that the transgendered community is there solely to boost numbers and be sacrificed as needed. Welcome to reality.
You bringing a totally different, irrelevant case up on this thread… why, because it involves a trans woman who is African-American(??!!), pretty much demonstrates the persistence of racism and transphobia on Queerty.
Sorry Kev, I didn’t know you have a lot more information on this case than the rest of us do.
But it is a fact that many women are strangled by men they know (a trans woman in Baltimore was recently strangled by her boyfriend (who, yes, was well aware she was trans) and another highly similar case in Puerto Rico few months ago. Neither of those women were hooking and were both murdered by people who knew them. And in urban settings, abandoned buildings are a common setting for dumping bodies.
So, if you have specific information about the case, you should definitely call the cops… other than that, I would hope you would keep your advice and judgement to yourself.
Gina : Then you mean that the readers of the Queerty blog are transphobic? Okay. Because obviously the administrators aren’t if they only report a murder case where the victim is trans and not one where the alleged murderer is trans.
@gina: “Sorry Kev, I didn’t know you have a lot more information on this case than the rest of us do.”
Maybe I just know the street better than some. The house is vacant and shuttered. So it takes effort to enter and dump a body. And we know that such houses are more commonly used for drugs and sex. It’s much more probable that she entered the building alive for those reasons.
I don’t understand why some TGs try to white-wash or sanitize the news. People have died and others are in need of useful information, and yet some are more worried about using the correct pronouns than offering help. She was a hooker. That’s reality. If you don’t want to hear it, go somewhere else.
This is horrible. My thoughts go out to her family and of course my Tyra RIP. And yes, the report I read states she worked as a streetwalker and in the drug trade, but that may be for several reasons like needing money for her reassignment surgery. We don’t know the full story yet so we shouldn’t speculate.
And yes, prostitution is dangerous for a whole slew of reasons. We all know that. For female prostitutes, trans prostitutes, and sometimes even male prostitutes. I will say, though, that generally-speaking, murdered prostitutes don’t cause as much of an uproar with the public as the murder of more “respectable” people. I guess because “prostitute” becomes the label that defines the person, as some sort of “other” type creature, rather than seeing prostitution as a verb- something some people do.
I am so sad, reading this. One comment after another saying “Not me”, “Not like me”, “Disposable” because she’s so far from what human looks like on you. It’s so overwhelmingly victim-blaming, even the folks who are sympathetic, it hurts my heart.
Tyra suffered a violent death and was thrown away like trash. She was someone’s child, who sacrificed and suffered to lose her baby on the street, 25 years old. I don’t know her but I know she was courageous – she survived at the unforgiving dregs of the civilization we built and held on to who she was though it wasn’t an easy walk.
I honor Tyra Trent. Rest in Peace. You deserved better.
Tyra Trent is a victim of a heinous crime. Let’s all keep our eyes on that. As Baltimoreans, we are saddened and outraged every time we lose a resident to violent crime. We need to work for change, and that does not happen in the Interwobs.
i am glad that people are reading and writing about this murder. one thing is evident in the comments however that i don’t think is very useful.
it seems like many of the commentors are intellectually debating the lives of sexworkers. while intellectual discussion is important, it’s also important not to let that discussion derail us from the pain and reality of the loss. and it is important not to let that discussion read as victim blaming.
a real live person was murdered, and as many have noted trans people who are killed are forgotten about. instead of intellectualizing the situation, let’s not FORGET about her. let’s not forget that we might be able to do something about the dangers trans people face besides lamenting about how sexworkers might just have to accept a dangerous life.
The absolute incredulous reporting in this post sickens me to the core.
If someone gets a speeding ticket 2003 or 2008, will all public references be, Speeder Jane Q Citizen, or Traffic Violator John F. Public?
When is it okay to blame the victim, misgender or detransition someone because you lack the basic knowledge of gender and gender identity?
By most reports, Tyra was charged with loitering and prostitution, but none mention any convictions. May we refrain from calling her a trans sex worker?
She was a woman, a woman of color in a tough economic environment which leaves very few paths for women to succeed. She had a family who loved her and a community which, based on the gathering this evening will miss, yet remember her.
She was a human being.
As a woman with a transsexual history and as the parent of a gay son who was assaulted on the streets of Philadelphia where he was furthering his education, I am lucky and grateful that a candlelight vigil was not being held for my son. I can in no way begin to imagine the grief Tyra’s family feels.
Please let us all remain respectful. When we disrespect Tyra, we are disrespecting her family.
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