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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Today in History for May 20th

Highlights of this day in history: Charles Lindbergh begins his trans-Atlantic flight; Amelia Earhart starts her trek across the Atlantic; Freedom Riders attacked in the South; Explorer Christopher Columbus, comedienne Gilda Radner die. (May 20)

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Today in History for May 20th

Highlights of this day in history: Charles Lindbergh begins his trans-Atlantic flight; Amelia Earhart starts her trek across the Atlantic; Freedom Riders attacked in the South; Explorer Christopher Columbus, comedienne Gilda Radner die. (May 20)

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Women in Georgia Are Battling the New Restrictive Abortion Laws (HBO)

Progressives are rallying to protest the restrictive abortion laws recently passed in Georgia and other states in the South. VICE News visits presidential hopeful Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s roundtable discussion in Atlanta.

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AP Top Stories April 15 P

Here are the top stories for Monday, April 15th: Fire engulfs Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris; Severe weather follows deadly storms in the South; Redacted Mueller report now expected Thursday; Runners compete in 123rd Boston Marathon.

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Strong storms in US South kill at least eight

Powerful storms swept across the South on Sunday after unleashing suspected tornadoes and flooding that killed at least eight people, including three children, and injured dozens. The storm damage stretched north to Ohio. (April 15)

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Enormous painting depicts Battle of Atlanta

As cities and states across the South are removing or covering up Confederate monuments, an enormous painting depicting the Battle of Atlanta from the American Civil War will soon reopen to the public. (Feb. 22)

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Sharp divisions in the South over shutdown impasse

(24 Jan 2019) Federal workers will miss their second paycheck as the government shutdown enters its 34th day, but not everyone is pushing for a quick resolution. (Jan. 24)

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A historic moment: North and South Korean officials link railroads across border

South and North Korean officials held a groundbreaking ceremony for the connection and modernisation of an inter-Korean railway in the North Korean border town of Kaesong on Wednesday.

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