Philadelphia police are searching for information on the death of a 27-year-old transgender woman found shot in the head in the Northeast last week.
The victim, known to friends as Kyra Kruz, was well-known in the city’s gay community, said Gloria Casarez, director of the city’s Office of LGBT Affairs.
“She was a visible, friendly presence,” Casarez said. “This has been surprising and upsetting to all of us.”
Police found Kruz’s body about 5 a.m. Sept. 3 in a wooded area off the 1100 block of Adams Avenue, in the city’s Frankford section. Before the slaying, Kruz had bought food and drinks from a Wawa on Castor Avenue, about a half-mile from the crime scene, police said. Noarrests have been made.
Friends are planning a candlelight vigil Thursday at 8 p.m. at the William Way LGBT Community Center, 13th and Spruce Streets.
Kruz, formerly known as Kris Herold, grew up in Hatfield, said a childhood friend, Amanda Cerini. Raised primarily by a single mother, Kruz moved to Philadelphia after high school. Though she went by Kruz for years, she recently had her last name legally changed to Cordova, Casarez said.
Kruz worked for about a year at the Gay and Lesbian Latino AIDS Education Initiative, a nonprofit group that focuses on HIV/AIDS outreach. Elicia Gonzales, the executive director, said Kruz turned up one day in 2010, wanting to know what she could do to help. She was initially stationed at the front desk, but later got a job counseling clients.
“She just immediately made the office light up,” Gonzales said. “She didn’t think of it as her job. It was her life’s calling to give back to the community.”
Kruz was also active in gay-pride events, for which she sometimes designed costumes and choreographed performance routines. Friends said she also sang in clubs.
Kruz was private about her personal life, and friends said she always had a positive attitude. But several said that Kruz had struggled in the past with drug use, and that at times her demons threatened to catch up with her.
“She always tried to find stability. She was always looking for a better job,” said Jaci Adams, a community activist and advocate for gay rights. “Kyra hit some bumps and bruises in life, but she never lost hope.”
Police have asked anyone with information to call the homicide unit at 215-686-3334.
I’m not trying to offend anymore… but certain trans people really need to shut the fuck up.
What is with this whole “die cis people” culture? Seriously, what is your problem? You cry to be accepted and to be treated with respect but then you turn around and make fun of cis people all the time and tell them that they should die?
Yeah, if somebody made something that said “die trans people” you would call trans-phobia in two seconds and get your panties in a twist, so shut up.
I think YOU are the hateful ones.
What’s wrong with being cis and identifying with the gender you were born as anyways?
News flash: You aren’t better than ANYONE just because you go against the normative gender structure.
I’m sorry, but sometimes certain people that identify as trans really annoy the crap out of me. They get so overly sensitive and call trans-phobia whenever they get the chance to, but at the same time, they have NO respect for cis people, white males, heterosexuals, etc… Did you ever think that maybe people should call CIS-PHOBIA on you? They think it’s okay to cry about how they are disrespected and discriminated against but yet they turn around and disrespect and discriminate against others?
Give me a break. My advice would be to leave the negative attitude behind and then maybe people will take you seriously and respect you.
You know, when you’re not telling people they should die.
proposal: next time you get the urge to talk authoratively about things you don’t understand, go take a nap instead
ohmygod, there is nothing wrong with being cis. There IS something wrong with refusing to acknowledge the privilege afforded to us because of that.
Also, we as the oppressor class don’t get to tell the people that we as a group oppress what to do.
This is the same as saying that poc are being overly sensitive when people are racist, or that queer people are being overly sensitive when people are heteronormative assholes. Ughhhh. Stop pretending the T in LGBTQ isn’t as important as every other letter.
[tw for discussion of transphobic violence, oppression]
lololol at the OP.
are they even serious?
“but at the same time, they have NO respect for cis people, white males, heterosexuals, etc”
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. they will get my respect when they fucking deserve it.
first of all, it is possible for members of an oppressed class to hate the oppressing class. no, that doesn’t mean I hate each and every single cis person. I rather like some of them. but I still hate the way that cis people as a class systematically discriminate against, oppress, harass, assault, and fucking MURDER trans* people as a class.
the same way I am completely in support of PoC who hate white people as a class, women who hate men as a class, and queer people who hate straight people as a class.
“My advice would be to leave the negative attitude behind and then maybe people will take you seriously and respect you.”
lolol so in order to have our basic identities and human rights respected, we have to be NICE to our oppressors? in your opinion, we’re not worthy of basic human dignity unless we are POLITE to those who perpetuate violence and hatred against us?
no. oppressed people are entitled to their anger. our anger is justified.
and anyway, when you say you want us to “respect” white/cis/het/male people, you mean you want us to bend over backwards to not make them feel uncomfortable. however, unless we do this, we aren’t worthy of the “respect” of being treated like an actual human being (i.e. having our identity acknowledged, not murdering us, basic shit like that)
Yeah, if somebody made something that said “die trans people” you would call trans-phobia in two seconds and get your panties in a twist, so shut up
oh wait you wanna know what’s funny? that already happens. all the time. do you not get the fucking irony of “die cis scum?” there is absolutely no way that an organized group of angry trans* people could ever mount a systematic attack on cis people just for being cis. the reverse, however, is something that PEOPLE ACTUALLY HAVE TO FUCKING LIVE WITH.
I’m always amused at the allies that spent more times whining about how “angry” die cis scum is, rather than being angry at the fact that hundreds of trans people are murdered every year just for being trans.
Let me ask you, because I’m pretty sure this is true.
You associate that kind of senseless and lawless violence with POC, correct? And not just any POC but Latinos and Blacks in particular, especially the latter.
And when you think of these strawmen Latino and Blacks who are so irrevocably violent and set on shooting up the place, you thin of one place: the inner city.
So you pack up your precious white babies and you move out of the city into the suburbs. There, you establish a faux-utopian community where your children are safe and sound from these violent brown people deadset on hurting you.
But then something like this happens, and the perp is—SURPRISE!—a fellow white person like yourself. Same neighborhood, went to the same schools as your precious babies (whose lives hopefully were not lost in the slaughter), was presumably just another good white citizen in your little utopia of Starbucks coffee, strollers, and soccer games.
Oh how, how, HOW could this be? You had taken all the necessary precautions to shield your family from this violence which in your mind could only come from those heathen brown people in the littered inner city streets.
But no, it was the quiet white man from down the street…maybe even next door.
Now look back at every school shooting incident that has made headlines in the last twenty years…starting with Columbine. What have you noticed?
The killers are usually always white and male.
The schools are almost always white.
The setting is almost always in sleepy, white suburbia.
But somehow brown people are to blame for senseless violence?
Are you that afraid to admit that maybe you’re just a racist and would rather point to every other reason in the book (mental illness, gun control, troubled past) to cope with the fact that maybe your white neighbors aren’t all law-abiding citizens set on sharing in your stupid fantasy of a colorless community.
I’ll tell you the reason I’m not surprised this happened in a sleepy white suburban town.
Most of y’all are fucking crazy ass sociopaths.
White folks have a lot less to lose doing shit like this than Black folks do. The system (judicial, political, social, etc) works in your favor. You go and shoot up a school? You’ll get everything but a medal for being a brave and troubled soul, while your victims will essentially be regulated to collateral damage in your battle to overcome your personal demons (which no one sees how fucked up it is to try and justify mass murder with this way of thinking).
If a Black man goes on a killing spree? He will be demonized and crucified as a murderer and be labeled as every ugly and vile thing in the book and the victims will be forgotten. And that’s if they even let it stay in the news that long.
So tell me again how it surprised you that yet another school shooting happened in yet another suburbian town?
The entire point of the post was to provoke the same type of anger POC feel when we are told essentially that we should not exist.
It was meant to evoke rage and hair-tearing fury because that’s only a drop in the bucket of how we feel every time society, media, and the world categorizes us in these stereotypical ways, every time white folks feed into that categorizing by making us the token Black friend, or little microaggressions that you can’t see because you have the privilege of being able to ignore the oppression that you unwittingly perpetuate around you.
The entire point of that post was to splash ice water on your consciousness and ge you thinking that maybe society is more fucked up than you originally thought, and that maybe before worrying about what goes on outside the U.S. that maybe the front stoop of the country isn’t as clean as you thought because you’ve conveniently stepped around the problematic shit I and other POC have to face on a daily basis.
So get angry. That’s good. But also be willing to go and educate yourself and listen to what POC are saying so you can understand the point better.
- said by the OP in a follow-up to this post
WHAT THE FUCK HUFFINGTON POST WHAT IS THIS
is this an article about how he was “awkward” and “smart” but “shy” and “weird”?
and then you’re just going to make vague statements about how he might have had a personality disorder or aspergers or you don’t even really know you’re just trying to make bullshit up to “explain” why he did this.
it really bothers me how much of the discourse has become about “mental health”. like, I’ve seen a bunch of posts talking about how this is a sign that we need better mental health care services / stricter gun control laws. and like, I agree with both of those things. but I feel uncomfortable with people brushing it off as someone being “crazy”.
like, I’ve seen so many posts about how “he must have been crazy” / “this is what happens when psychopaths are able to get weapons” / “this is why we need to keep people with mental illnesses from getting weapons”.
all of this strikes me as really ableist and kinda besides the point.
it seems like we’re trying to avoid taking any collective blame as a society by declaring that he must have been “crazy”. like, people would rather attribute it to something personal about the gunman / his mental health, rather than look at society as a whole / the underlying structures / etc. and like, there’s totally a racist element to it too. if a person of color shoots someone, everybody’s like “ugh, just another criminal.” but when a white dude shoots someone, everybody’s like “oh wow he must have been insane I don’t know why he did that.”
I don’t know, I’m having trouble phrasing this the right way.
does anyone get what I’m saying? or have thoughts/criticisms?
newton, ct school shooting. :’(
i have a lot of feelings about this. primarily about how tragic it is. it’s tragic every time humans endure this kind of pain and suffering. my heart goes out to the families of the victims, and the other children who survived this that will carry this scar forever. really, really painfully sad.
but i’m also a little bit sad about how this story—and other stories about [primarily white] u.s. children—is going viral, when the palestinian death toll in the israel-gaza conflict has reached 100, 24 of whom were children, and nobody is talking about that. or the 260 children still alive but wounded.
or how in november, on transgender day of rememberance, it was hard for me to get anyone to care about the murders of 265 transgender people (predominantly trans women of color) murdered worldwide in the last calendar year.
or how black and brown folks deal with shootings in their schools, neighborhoods, and communities in a way that’s so commonplace that it doesn’t even get news coverage. and how so much of that violence is perpetuated by the police. nah nobody talks about that, or mourns that.
i’ve been reading up on this school shooting some since about noontime. been chewing on this quote from alternet, unrelated to what i wrote above:
“This type of massacre has now happened over 30 times since Columbine in schools alone, not to mentin mall and now movie theater shootings. It’s an epidemic, and it’s caused by many things, but enabled by guns and gun culture. Until we do something about guns, gun violence will continue.”
the article also makes a point that we shouldn’t use others’ pain as an opportunity to take a political stance but yet gun-related crimes are happening so frequently that there’s almost never a time to speak about gun violence that *isnt* in the wake of some tragic shooting. interesting to consider. i have a lot of mixed feelings about guns and gun laws. in my heart i’m anti-guns, but i also believe in the right of oppressed peoples to defend themselves by any means necessary. where’s the line.
(also unrelated) one thing on my mind reading about this shooting is how the families and friends affected by columbine and the other 30 shootings since are being triggered by hearing of this event today. hopefully they can all reach out in solidarity and support instead of closing themselves off and entering a dark, bitter depression.
my heart yearns for their current and future mental health.
my heart yearns for OUR current and future mental health. we’re surrounded by violence every day, real violence and the threat of violence. and we’re surrounded by violence and abuse that aren’t systemically recognized as violence and abuse (like racism and homophobia). we desperately need to heal. and we need to have some real talk real fast.
Just some quick thoughts on Transgender Day of Remembrance:
As a white man, as a white transgender man, as a white transgender man with minimal exposure to violence and passing privilege, TDOR is for me a way to stand up for my trans WOC sisters, my gender non-conforming sisters and brothers, almost all of color, who’ve been killed, attacked, or marginalized with breathtaking brutality this year.
Also, it’s complicated.
Which is not to say that I don’t personally fear violence, because I do. I fear it in emergency rooms, men’s rooms, rural areas, sports arenas, truck stops, etc. I fear it because sometimes people think I’m gay, and I fear it because I was in high school when Brandon Teena’s story put me off my own.
But TDOR isn’t about the many small violences that affect lives like mine: the violence of fear, of legalities, of insurance, of medical discrimination. It’s not even about the horrifying rash of recent suicides of white trans men, though we do need a day to hold them, together, in our hearts.
TDOR is about the systematic violence that ends in murder, and if you go to a memorial tonight you will find that 99% of those murders are of women of color.
Here’s what I think, white trans brothers, especially those of us with passing privilege: we need to take this opportunity for a reality check. And remember this: not just today, not just tomorrow, but every time we make community, every time we think we know what needs to be done, every time we consider the needs of the TRANS COMMUNITY, we need to take a step back and ask somebody. Because until people quit getting killed for being themselves, none of us can be. Until people quit getting arrested for defending their right not to be killed for being themselves, we can’t stop won’t stop.
It’s different for everybody. I’m not so much an on-the-streets type, but this is a pervasive problem and we need millions of arrows to shoot at it. Don’t just do something, ask someone. Don’t just vigil, open your eyes, see where you stand.
A big part of being an ally to trans women is caring about us before we get murdered
“The Salvation Army has refused assistance to gay couples unless they break up and “go straight”, Muslim families who refuse to attend “Christian Bible classes”, kids who can’t prove their immigration status, and more.”
Admittedly, i only skimmed the article, but this quote alone should give you a pretty good idea of how awful they are.
EDIT: I also just learned of this:
Of course, the bigotry of the Salvation Army proved to be deadly towards a transgender woman in Austin, Texas just before Christmas in 2008.Two years ago today trans woman Jennifer Gale was found dead sleeping on an Austin sidewalk outside a homeless shelter run by the Salvation Army.because they refused to take her in.
I want everybody to understand what happened here. They refused to take in a trans woman, and she died as a result. They killed a trans woman. Killed. Because they “disagreed with her lifestyle”.
You wanna know why I can’t just be all “oh well, it’s their opinion, they’re entitled to it” when it comes to bigotry? This. This is fucking why.
because another black trans* woman is dead three blocks from where Paige Clay was found murdered in April and major Chicago news outlets won’t even give her the basic respect of using her chosen name.
Because our young black girls are dying at an alarming rate and even the queer community doesn’t want to talk about it
Because my own people (queer people and black people) are throwing these women into the streets and their blood is running there now
Because my black and brown trans* sisters are being murdered in the streets and the cis white gay rights movement is worried about how soon we can get married (which is important) but ignores the need for trans* folks to have housing options when they’re kicked out of their homes, which is far too often
Because gay men are still tossing around the t-slur that these women probably heard as they died
And it’s disgusting. Because nobody cares. The queer community will not speak of these women, and neither will the black community. I used to think it would take a rash of murders to wake people up, but I don’t know anymore. Because that rash is here. Tiffany Gooden was not the first. And I’m so afraid she won’t be the last. It kills me to think that my sisters are dying like this. Brown and queer and beautiful and with nobody to empower them. It absolutely kills me.
A nineteen-year-old youth named Tiffany Gooden was found murdered on Tuesday, August 14th. Ms. Gooden’s body was found on the second floor of an abandoned building on the 4800 Block of West Jackson Boulevard in Chicago. An autopsy verified that Tiffany had been stabbed to death.
Tiffany Gooden’s tragic death is similar to that of Chicago resident Paige Clay. Ms. Clay was another transgender woman of color who was found murdered in the city. Paige Clay was found on the 4500 Block of West Jackson Boulevard, not far from where Tiffany Gooden was found. The two women were also known as friends.
“Murder or Suicide?”
A mind-blowing case
…Or imagine a 19-year-old girl being dropped off at an acquaintance’s home by a taxi on a Sunday night and finding three men on the lawn waiting for her. Imagine them kidnapping, torturing, decapitating, dismembering and burning her alive for sport, as young, raucous boys would to a Barbie doll. Imagine them chucking her torso on the side of a highway, with absolutely no regret or sense of immorality. Imagine being the mother called into the morgue to identify a defiled torso as your daughter. Swallow that bitter pill of reality and tell me that marriage is the most important issue for the LGBT community in . For several in the transgender community, it might as well be 1969 all over again, because nothing has changed for them…