LGBTQ+ Women of Color at High Risk for Hate Crimes

Trapped | Nelsa Richardson

Violence against women in the LGBTQ+ community isn’t new news. Unfortunately, violence against the community constantly happens, especially to women of color. What’s worse is that it doesn’t have to be from a stranger, but it’s usually from a family or friend. That was the cause for 36-year-old Kaladaa Crowell and her 11-year-old daughter Kyra Inglett. The mother and daughter were murdered by Marlin Larice Joseph. Robin Denson, mother of Joseph and Crowell’s girlfriend, publicly pleaded for Joseph to turn himself in. However, he was later caught by the police at an apartment complex and taken into custody, along with his cousin Javarie Williams who harbored the fugitive four days after the murder.

In Denson’s situation, she loves her son, but also wants justice for Crowell and Inglett. It wasn’t a stranger that turned her life into a nightmare, but her own flesh and blood. Tragedy isn’t far from arms reach, especially in the LGBTQ+ community. Someone’s nightmare can easily become one’s reality in a community that is still not accepted by all. Unfortunately, that can lead to hate crimes and discrimination towards race, gender and sexuality. However, why are women of color who are part of the LGBTQ+ community are more at high risk for hate crimes?

Not only are they considered a minority by their race and gender, but also their sexuality. Essentially, they are the most targeted group in societal standards. Although wrong, others still act on emotions such as confusion and fear, on ideals they are either not used to or don't agree with. Thus, others use their violent acts on the group that is not the majority. Reflecting their insecurities about topics such as race, gender, and sexuality is not only detrimental to society, but also poisons the mind. Open-minds and dialogue should be used, never violence. Women of color in the LGBTQ+ should not be targeted due to others insecurities on race, gender and sexuality. Although both Crowell and Denson come from a religious, Christian upbringing with families who does not agree with their love for one another, murder should not be used as a tool for beliefs and opinions. The act of murder is emotional, not logical. It is not fair for women of color in the LGBTQ+ community to be consistently afraid to be happy and comfortable with who they are due to others’ insecurities.

May Kaladaa Crowell and Kyra Inglett rest in Peace and Power.