The Philadelphia police confirmed that on Sunday (May 19) Michelle Simone, a 40-year-old transgender woman, was shot to death.
After receiving a report in the early morning hours, the local authorities took Michelle Simone from Franklinville to the Temple University Hospital. When she arrived there, she had already died, Philadelphia Gay News reported.Local authorities are investigating what happened but so far, no one has been arrested. The motive for the crime also remains unknown.
Deja Lynn Alvarez, an activist and candidate of the Philadelphia City Council, spoke. She described Simone as a 'no-nonsense' type of person. Simone studied nursing at the Community College of Philadelphia. In a Facebook message, Alvarez explained how she had been friends with Simone for 20 years. "Whenever I am told that a transgender has been shot, it is extremely difficult, but it is even more difficult if you realize that it is someone you can call a friend for twenty years," Alvarez wrote. "In our memories you stay alive forever and your light keeps shining forever."
In a later statement, Alvarez emphasized the fact that this violence is a problem that focuses specifically on black transgender women. "It's very important that we emphasize that because we don't see LGB people being killed every other day," she told PGN. "It is time that we say that this happens with trans women, black trans women, it happens with trans women of color and it is time that we focus on that."
Simone's murder follows the death of two other black transgender women, Muhlaysia Booker and Claire Legato; who both were killed this week. Her death is the fifth known murder of a transgender in the US this year. All deaths on transgender people in the US have been black women so far. The life expectancy of transgenders in the US is only 35 years.