A group of San Francisco city supervisors on Tuesday spent close to 20 minutes honoring a transgender woman who was killed last week—an incredible show of public support at a time when multiple recent killings have shaken the trans community.
Four of the 11 supervisors participated in the honorary tribute for Taja De Jesus, 36, who was found stabbed to death in her apartment on February 1st.
Representing historically black, Latino, Chinese-American and gay neighborhoods, the council members called for compassion and asked the city’s Human Rights Commission to review the killing.
De Jesus is one of at least five trans women who have been killed in the last month or so across the country.
Lamia Beard, 30, died of a gunshot wound on Jan. 17 in Virginia.
"Ty" Lee Underwood, 24, was shot to death on Jan. 24 in Texas.
Yazmin Vash Payne, 33, was allegedly stabbed to death on Jan. 1st in Los Angeles.
De Jesus, 36, was stabbed to death on Feb. 1 in San Francisco.
Penny Proud, 21, was fatally shot and died Feb. 10th in New Orleans.
All of them, women of color, were honored on Tuesday.
"On behalf of my colleagues, I ask the board of supervisors to adjourn our meeting today in the memory of Taja Gabrielle De Jesus," said supervisor David Campos, who represents District 5.
“This city must take proactive measures to protect this vulnerable community. Our silence is deadly,” said Campos, whose district includes the Mission, the city’s historically Latino neighborhood.
“The intersection of racism and transphobia is very clear here and I'm hoping the Human Rights Commission's report looks at the disproportionate number of [victims that are] trans people of color,” said Supervisor Eric Mar, who represents District 1, which includes the Richmond neighborhood.
“We need to do a better job of providing resources to people that are crying out and need our support—supporting both perpetrators of crime and victims of crime,” said Malia Cohen, who represents District 10.
“To hear over and over again about this senseless violence and hate crimes, it threatens to jeopardize so much of the work and the progress that the transgender community has been able to make,” said district 8 supervisor Scott Wiener.
“It puts all of that in jeopardy unless we all stand up and say no more.”