Brooklyn, NY – NYS Senator Jesse Hamilton, Assistant Speaker Felix Ortiz, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, NYC Council Member Carlos Menchaca, LGBTQ Rights Advocates, and community leaders stood in solidarity at the Brooklyn Community Pride Center against hate crimes, honoring the memory of Kenneth Bostick who passed away last week due to injuries sustained during a brutal attack in Chelsea on April 25th. Bostick’s death marked the tenth transgender person murdered in the United States in 2017.
NYS Senator Jesse Hamilton said, “We must collectively, forcefully, and loudly reject violence against people because of their gender identity. Our country recently suffered the tenth murder of a transgender person this year. These deaths should horrify each and every New Yorker. Our struggle for social justice connects across communities and across identities. Our efforts to build inclusive, accepting communities in New York require us to stand up against these crimes and say, ‘Not in our City. Not in our State. Not in our communities!’ Nobody should be attacked because of who they are. All identities should be safe, and if transgender people are attacked, then other people will inevitably suffer violence because of the color of the skin, their perceived religion, or their background. We will not tolerate people being discriminated against, harassed, abused, and targeted for violence because of their gender identity. Even as the justice system works to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice, we as New Yorkers must act to make the call to action ‘Trans Lives Matter’ represents a reality.”
Assistant Speaker Felix Ortiz said, “It is totally unacceptable that people are targeted because of their gender, race, creed & sexuality. It is especially egregious at a time when we are encouraging gender expression & identity. In the NYS Assembly we have passed Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA). It is critical that the rights of all New Yorkers are protected.”
NYC Council Member Carlos Menchaca said, “I mourn Kenneth Bostick’s death, I share my condolences with those who knew him and with the entire trans community. I pledge in Kenneth’s memory to continue the struggle for the human rights of all transpeople. We can stop the discrimination and violence trans people experience through protest, justice reform, legislation and education. When we honor the human rights oftrans and gender non-conforming people we affirm our commitment to justice. Our demand for the rights and dignity due to trans people creates a safer, more equitable world for everyone.”
Floyd Rumohr, Executive Director of Brooklyn Community Pride Center, said, “Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Brenda Bostick, whose brutal attack in broad daylight is the latest in a growing string of violence against the LGBT+ community of New York City. While we and our brothers, sisters, gender fluid and nonbinary extended family, friends, and allies mourn for Kenneth, we must convert our grief to action and call on everyone to stand against hate and violence. If you see something. Say something. Be an ally and stand-up for our vulnerable, beautiful transgender people until the whole of the city is a safe zone and hate crimes like this are eradicated.”
Steven Gordon, Gay Men of African Descent said, “These tragedies must stop. We as a community must protect the most vulnerable among us regardless of age, gender, race, class, or sexuality. Gay Men of African Descent stand in solidarity with our transgender brothers and sisters. We will stand and fight with our transgender sisters and brothers for our transgender sisters and brothers. Rest in Power, Kenneth Bostick. We will make sure your death is not in vain.”
Ethel Felix, Founder of Caribbean American Pride, said, “We will not stand by one more day in silence. As we will lift our voices in solidarity and in support of our transsiblings. It is an outrage that Black and Browns Trans people lives are not valued in the eyes of the law and society. This must stop. Caribbean American Pride is very saddened by the recent murder of Kenneth Bostick in Chelsea, NOT ONE MORE. One Love.”
Ten transgender people killed in the United States since the start of 2017:
· Kenneth Bostick attacked on April 25 and died on May 4 in New York City, New York. He was 59 years old.
· Chay Reed killed on April 21 in Miami, Florida. She was 28 years old.
· Alphonza Watson killed on March 22 in Baltimore, Maryland. She was 38 years old.
· Jaquarrius Holland killed on February 19 in Monroe, Louisiana (identified as trans onFebruary 28). She was 18 years old.
· Ciara McElveen killed on February 27 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was 21 years old.
· Chyna Gibson killed on February 25 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was 31 years old.
· Keke Collier killed on February 21 in Englewood, Chicago. She was 24 years old.
· JoJo Striker killed on February 8 in Toledo, Ohio. She was 23 years old.
· Mesha Caldwell killed on January 4 in Canton, Mississippi. She was 41 years old.
· Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow killed on January 1 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She was 28 years old.
About Senator Hamilton:
Senator Jesse Hamilton has spent his entire career helping people, including over 15 years as President of the School Board and District Leader. He is a husband, father, and public servant delivering and fighting for one of the most diverse Senate districts in New York State.