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Boston police deadname missing transgender teenager

Boston police deadname missing transgender teenager

The Boston Police Department were careless when it came to properly referring to a missing trans teen

19-year-old Jade Chisholm went missing on Saturday, 16 February. In the police department’s missing persons announcement about Chisholm, however, some on social media pointed out that Chisholm’s transgender identity was being erased.

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According to the announcement, Chisholm lives with autism. This fact was included while Chisholm’s chosen name of Jade was put in quotes after her deadname.

This presentation of facts struck a chord with LGBTI social media users. Many of these users are already sensitive to the way trans women, particularly trans women of color, are mistreated by law enforcement.

According to comments on social media, Chisholm has since returned home safely. However, this has yet to be confirmed by law enforcement officials. The report has not been updated with any new information. Detectives with the Boston Police Department in Roxbury could not be reached for comment by GSN.

Why it matters

The case of Jade Chisholm is by no means the only time law enforcement has been careless when it comes to correctly identifying transgender people.

Celine Walker, a Black trans woman murdered last year, had the news of her death delayed by a week. This was due to the police department’s deadnaming and misgendering of her.

In 2017, trans woman Stephanie Montez was killed in Texas. Initial reports of the murder described Montez as a ‘man in a dress’. Had her loved ones not spoken up, it is likely that Montez’s murder would have gone unknown.

Laverne Cox spoke up about this issue

This is an important issue to Laverne Cox, the trans actor who stars in Orange Is The New Black. She had some strong, personal words about the misgendering/deadnaming of trans people in death.

‘Many years ago when I was contemplating suicide, I was planning to have a note in my pocket at the time of my death. And several other notes in my home. [The notes] would state my name, preferred gender pronouns, and that I should be referred to as a woman in my death,’ Cox wrote on Instagram last year. ‘My note would be clear that I should not be referred to as Laverne Cox only not any other name.’

‘Being misgendered and deadnamed in my death felt like it would be the ultimate insult to the psychological and emotional injuries I was experiencing daily as a black trans woman in New York City. The injuries that made me want to take my own life.’

‘I am angered, saddened and enraged that the police in Jacksonville, Florida and other jurisdictions don’t have policies in place to respect the gender identities of trans folks when they have been MURDERED,’ Cox continued.

‘This misgendering and deadnaming also impedes the investigations into these murders. Injustice on top of injustice!’

‘I have been saying for years that misgendering a trans person is an act of violence. When I say that I am referring to cultural and structural violence. The police misgendering and deadnaming trans murder victims as a matter of policy feels like a really good example of that cultural and structural violence.’

See also

North Carolina refuses to move transgender woman from men’s prison

Cardi B says Jussie Smollett ‘f***ed up Black History Month’ with alleged staged attack

Gay hate crimes triple in Washington DC since Donald Trump became president