CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) -Local LGBTQ community leaders met Wednesday to announce a $10,000 effort to provide immediate support and relief to Black trans women in Charlotte.
Two men -Dontarius Long and Joel Brewer- were arrested in connection with the deadly shootings that happened on April 4th and April 15 at two hotels in the Charlotte area.
Organizers Wednesday say the deaths of both Peterson and Fennell are two examples of where Charlotte has fallen short in the support, acceptance and tolerance of the LGBTQ community, particularly Black trans women.
“It did not start a few days ago with the murder of Jaida and Remy, who should still be here today,” said Nada Merghani, programs manager for Charlotte Pride. “And it will not end with the apprehension of two of the many, many killers and perpetrators of violence against Black trans women and girls. It ends when we acknowledge that this city -and we as a whole- have a real and legitimate problem with transphobia.”
LGBTQ leaders cited recent research by the Human Rights Campaign that ranks Charlotte as the second deadliest city in the nation for transgender and gender-nonconforming people.
Organizers are now asking the community to match their $10,000 donation, that will go toward the immediate support of housing, food and other emergency needs.
Funds will go toward Charlotte Uprising, Feed the Movement and House of Kanautica to provide on-the-ground services to Black trans women in the Charlotte area.
“We must acknowledge this crisis of transphobia,” said Merghani, in another statement. “And begin working collectively to support them and provide true pathways for personal safety, upward mobility and economic stability.”