May 27, 2019, Titi Gulley aka Tete, a homeless trans woman was found in Portland, Oregon near a homeless encampment. 

As reported by the Human Rights Communication (HRC) this was the 27th violent killing of trans and non-gender conforming people in 2019 in the US, with the majority of them being black trans women. 

In 2020 there have already been 15 deaths of trans and non-gender conforming people. 

HRC Director Of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative Tori Cooper believes that black people are being lynched in America. 

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 “The details of Titi Gulley’s death must be thoroughly investigated and handled with the utmost care. It is disgusting that local authorities were so quick to rule this case a suicide, forcing a grieving family to do their own work to convince police to care about a black, transgender woman who was experiencing homelessness. Black Transgender Lives Matter. We must do more to end this epidemic of violence that is killing more and more beautiful lives. To every black trans person reading this: You matter. You have value and you make the world a better place by you being here. These disgusting crimes are terrifying. I’m terrified too. But never believe that your existence is less than any other person.” 

After the Portland police initially ruled Titi’s death as a suicide, they have now opened an investigation after the family of the victim came through with evidence they collected and presented to the police showing that there may have been foul play involved. 

Titi’s story has come back to light following the recent hangings of other people of colour in America. 

Malcolm Harsch was found May 31, 2020, in Victorville, California at a City Library. Robert Fuller was found June 10, 2020, in Palmdale, California near a city hall, church and chamber of commerce.

Two public places with no CCTV footage as there are no cameras.

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Another two people of colour have been found hanging from trees, a 17 year-old black boy and a latino man in Houston, Texas in the last week. 

Even with the spike of people of colour being found at the end of their life in this way, the police are all ruling these deaths suicides with no signs of foul play. 

However, Malcolm’s family was told that the six foot three tall man was found by police with a USB cord as the item used to end his life and his shirt had blood on it.

If any of what you have read has affected you and you need some support please contact Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 or you can chat online here.

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