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Transgender persons

Transgender woman killed
in San-Antonia, Texas barbershop:

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Helle Jae O’Regan, 20, a male to female transgender person, was identified as a male at birth, but had since identified as female.

She was named by San Antonio police as the victim of a fatal stabbing in a local barber shop. She was working inside the Diesel Barbershop on 2020-MAY-06 with two other employees. The shop was closed at the time, presumably because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The three employees were preparing for its reopening.

The owner of the store, Shayne Brown, said that a man had knocked on the shop's locked outside door and had asked to make an appointment. Brown later identified the man as Damion Campbell, 42. He was invited into the store, spoke with the employees, and subsequently left.

He returned to the store later. Surveillance video shows that he threatening those present with a gun and knife, and forced them into the back of the store. He allegedly said repeatedly:

"What have you done wrong? What have you done wrong? God sent me here to kill you because you have done something wrong! What have you done wrong?"

As he stabbed O'Regan to death, he allegedly told her:

"God sent me here to kill you."

The other two employees were able to escape.

Brown said that believes that Helle was not murdered because she was transgender. The local police agree. He feels that she was killed as a "random act of violence." However, authors of articles about the murder in Pink News and many other news sources appear to have taken the position that she was murdered because of her gender identity.

She was the 11th person known to be transgender who was murdered in the U.S. during 2020.

The San Antonio Police Department reports that they have arrested Damion Campbell and charged him with murder.

Pink News reports that:

"A friend, Luke Tyler told local media: 'Every time I saw her, she smiled. She’d do anything for you. She was a caring person. I never saw her in a bad mood… Being trans is so hard, and her life was hard, but she lived like it was the best day of her life every day'.

Robert Salcido of San Antonio’s Pride Center said:Â 'We are disheartened to hear of a loss of a community member, especially a transgender woman, who are all too often faced with severe and deadly violence'.

Emmett Schelling of the Transgender Education Network of Texas added: "We are saddened to hear of the news about Helle O’Regan’s death. Texas, unfortunately, lays claim to being the state with the highest number of reported murders of transgender people these past five years. We mourn for Helle’s life being cut so prematurely, but take comfort in hearing how much joy she brought to those who knew, loved and accepted her fully as her authentic self'.

Tori Cooper, of the HRC Transgender Justice Initiative, said: 'For the past several weeks, we have learned of the violent deaths of transgender Americans at a rate that should be a shock and horror to every single person.

We must all ask ourselves today: ‘What am I doing to ensure a world where a person’s gender identity is not a potential death sentence?’

On MAY-10, Joe Biden, who is expected to be the Democratic candidate in the 2020 US presidential election, tweeted:

"We cannot be silent in the face of rising violence against transgender people of colorâ€"like the recent tragedies in Missouri and Puerto Rico. It's our moral obligation to end this epidemic, and ensure everyone can live open and proud and free from fear."

No arrests have been made as of mid 2020-MAY in the four Puerto Rico transgender murders that ocurred in the two month's prior to Oregan's.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyper links are not necessarily still active today:

  1. Sam Sanchez, "Transgender Woman Identified as Victim in San Antonio Barbershop Killing," San Antonio Current, 2020-MAY-08, at: https://www.sacurrent.com/
  2. Nick Duffy, "Trans hair stylist repeatedly stabbed to death by sick man who claimed God ‘sent’ him kill her," Pink News, 2020-MAY-12, at: https://www.pinknews.co.uk/
  3. Trudy Ring, "Trans Woman Murdered in Attack on San Antonio Barbershop," Advocate, 2020-MAY-11, at: https://www.advocate.com/

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Copyright © 2020 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2020-MAY-27
Author: B.A. Robinson

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