Muhlaysia Booker’s Murder Uncovered Cracks in Dallas’ LGBT Community

On April 12, Muhlaysia Booker, a black trans woman from Dallas, was jumped by a group of men yelling homophobic slurs in the parking lot of her apartment complex. A video of the beating was broadcast all over the world.

Days later, she went public and spoke out against her attackers, backed by members of the black trans community in Dallas.

“She knew she had to. But that’s not what she wanted. She didn’t want to do it. And she didn’t want to do it because she knew her doing it would put other people’s lives in jeopardy,” said Booker’s friend Robyn “Pocahontas” Crowe.

Four weeks later, Booker was found dead from a gunshot wound to the head.

Booker was the fifth trans woman killed so far this year, and one of 133 killed in the last six years, according to LGBT advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign. Two-thirds of those murdered were black, and more were killed in the South than in any other region.

But Dallas is supposed to be different. Since at least the 1970s, the city has had a vibrant LGBT community, concentrated in the historic neighborhood of Oak Lawn. Today, that community has several allies in government and law enforcement.

But Muhlaysia Booker’s friends say that progress is limited by race and class — and specifically, that it does not extend to black trans women like them, and that the city has done nothing to stop the violence they routinely face. Even Oak Lawn, the city’s historic “gayborhood, has been gentrified beyond recognition.

“It makes us feel like we’re not wanted anywhere,” said Booker’s friend Mieko Hicks.

VICE News went to Dallas to learn how Muhlaysia Booker’s death affected the city’s black trans community.

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Warren: Never Used My Family Tree to Get Ahead

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Wednesday that President Donald Trump is disrespecting Native Americans by referring to her as “Pocahontas.” She also said that while she’s not enrolled in any tribe, she never used her heritage to advance her career. (Feb. 14)

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Trump Calls Elizabeth Warren ‘Pocahontas’ at White House Event Honoring Native American Code Talkers

At a White House event honoring the last surviving Native American code talkers, President Donald Trump revived his controversial nickname for Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

“You were here long before any of us were here,” Trump told the three Native American code talkers, each roughly 90-years of age, to his right. “Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas. But you know what, I like you. Because you are special. You are special people. You are really incredible people.”

Trump praised the code talkers “bravery” and said “from the heart, from the absolute heart, we appreciate what you’ve done.” The code talkers were Native Americans who served in the military to help with communications in both World Wars.

Trump has blasted Warren, elected to the Senate in 2013, as “Pocahontas” for more than a year. The attack is based off one launched by former GOP Sen. Scott Brown, now Trump’s ambassador to New Zealand, who was Warren’s opponent during her 2012 Senate bid. Brown accused her at the time of using her Native American ancestry to her advantage after reports surfaced that she listed herself as a minority in a years-old directory of law professors.

One of the Native Americans, Peter MacDonald, who had served in the Marines during World War II, had delivered a speech on their service prior to Trump’s comment and later praised Trump for having military leaders serve in important administration roles.

Trump praised the speech and said he did not need to read his speech since the preceding speech was so good.

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