Bakersfield’s Trans Community Demands Justice

Mar. 17, 2016 / By

On January 22, Bakersfield resident Jasmine Sierra was found murdered in her apartment. Friends did not learn of her death, however, until two months later because police reports used her male name with no mention of her transgender identity.

Sadly, her murder and the indignity of being misgendered is a fate that has befallen too many in the trans community.

I learned of Jasmine’s death after seeing an article in the local paper. Horrified that something like that could happen where I live, I decided to organize a vigil as a way to honor Jasmine and a rally to call out the Bakersfield Police Department for its handling of her case.

Over 40 of Jasmine’s friends and family turned out for the March 12 rally. I was fortunate enough to meet Jasmine’s sister, Ramona, who shared with me that one of Jasmine’s fears was that she was going to be murdered for being transgender and that she would be buried as a man.

It is a fear that many in the trans community must grapple with.

Ramona loved and supported Jasmine, and shared with those gathered that Jasmine was a loving, funny, and generous sister and friend.

Karen Adell Scot, executive director of the Fresno-based Trans Care, also spoke at the rally. She called on the Bakersfield PD to find Jasmine’s killer and bring them to justice, recalling the unsolved murder of K.C. Haggard, a transgender woman from Fresno who was murdered in June of 2015.

Read more HERE.