RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Zakia McKensey of the Nationz Foundation, an LGBTQ advocacy group based in Henrico County, says she was sickened by the attack on Muhlaysia Booker back in April, and subsequently her death.
“We, as trans people of color, are being attacked," McKensey said.
McKensey says being a target for all sorts of violence is part of life as a transgender person.
“Somebody was in my inbox today, just randomly being nasty, because of who I was - that I’m open about being transgender on my profile,” McKensey said.
Violence is something she’s dealt with in her past - she was very close with Noony Norwood, another transgender woman who was killed in 2016 on Richmond’s southside.
“Nobody’s paid for that crime. She was such a beautiful person, full of life. She’s greatly missed,” she said.
According to the latest FBI numbers, there were 35 reported hate crimes related to sexual orientation in 2017 in Virginia.
McKensey says the Nationz Foundation, along with other area groups, will be gathering this Thursday at Diversity Richmond, to give members of the LGBTQ community an opportunity “to vent, talk about how they feel, process what’s going on and come up with some sort of call to action.”
She is hoping this opens the door towards a better life and prevents future cases like Muhlaysia Booker.
“Our voices are important, and folks need to hear our voice all the time so that we can get the protection that we need," McKensey said.
Copyright 2019 WWBT. All rights reserved.