Wednesday, June 23, 2021
HomeActivismCan we stop being willing victims, for just one week?

Can we stop being willing victims, for just one week?

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A photo of Sumaya Ysl you won’t see too often, for a reason.
Her death came to my attention as I was writing about te previous 42 deaths. We do not know how she died. Police aren’t talking. Her family from Somalia appear to be scrubbing the internet of her presence and pressuring social media and the police into silence.

The posting about the 43 transgender deaths in the first seven weeks of 2015 was viewed 65,000 times in the first six days. However successful in highlighting this tragedy it’s also turned out to be very controversial. I have outraged some of our readers by including these two paragraphs in the original post…

“Most were murdered, but doubly tragic, some were teens and young adults who couldn’t stand the hate any longer and committed suicide. I hold the world accountable for extinguishing each of these bright stars. I especially hold the Southern Baptists, and Pope Francis responsible for creating intolerable conditions that can only be described as genocide.”

The following paragraph enraged some readers…..

“But in order to make our lives mean something we as a community must become proactive. We must not put ourselves in harms way. Drugs kill us. Prostitution kills us.

Basically, I unintentionally committed the ultimate trans faux pas by dragging the elephant from behind the couch into full view something the vast majority of transgender media would never do. No one wants to anger our own readers. I wrote something though not specifically pointing an acquisitional finger, didn’t by any means play a victim card either.

In spite of acknowledging the vulnerability of our community I was still oversensitive, blocking the twitter account “Tranny Drama” who posted this in response to Claire-Renee Kohner’s article “Sumaya Ysl’s Friends Speak Out About Her Death”


I was angry reading these tweets I originally blocked ‘tranny drama’, but after a week I started to realize there is some truth in what ‘tranny drama’ said.

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link to

We wouldn’t have even heard of Sumaya Ysl death if it hadn’t been for social media. The original Tumblr post by ODOFEMI SUMAYA describing her as a party girl who basically sold her time was deleted at the request of her family.

ODOFEMI SUMAYA said she was murdered by a client. An article on Metro News said friend saw her in a confrontation with two men and running from them, It says that there were unexplained messages made from her phone, perhaps after she was thought to be dead.

The irony is her father refused to pick up her body from the morgue according to ODOFEMI SUMAYA. We would have never known that Sumaya Ysl was a transgender woman if not for that one Tumblr post.

If you are searching for that post on Tumblr don’t bother it’s been deleted by ODOFEMI SUMAYA and all who reblogged it.

ODOFEMI SUMAYA’s blog has also been deleted, in its entirety. It is no longer on Tumblr as the powers that be endeavor to totally erase this trans woman’s life.

So here’s the thing. Are we going to start taking ownership of our transsexuality? 6 of the 43 murdered trans woman were linked to sex work, but only in media outside of the United States. I am not suggesting we sit quietly while we are villainized by mainstream media. I know shit happens when you are just walking down a street like mine in a low rent district. So in my mind there is no crime in prostitution, but there is something terribly wrong with refusing to acknowledge that some of our fallen were killed as a result of their activities.

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Police statment Via

We will never grow as a community if we don’t own it. I know this personally. I was a addict 30 years ago nearly dying twice on the streets from beatings. The circumstances that led to me being a sex worker for a high aren’t all that different from those being murdered today. I’m here by divine intervention. JC slapped that stem from my hand and placed a baby in it.

The difference is today we have the Internet and the potential to use these resources to stem this gendercide. The world’s not going to stop killing us because we ask them to stop.

To remain silent is to condone. Saying nothing says it all.

Drugs kill us. Prostitution kills Us. Education saves us. Employment saves us.

Kelli Busey
Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender


  1. Thank you for this post and all the others, your an inspiration to me and one of the few people really standing up for our community.

  2. Your comments indicate complete ignorance about whom the author is.
    I spent 20 years on the street and was beaten nearly to death twice.
    I got clean and sober but lost my job after fully transitioning. It was only by the good graces of a trans man, then a gay man who took me in that I didn’t have to stay in shelters.

    It took two years to land a job at a part time 8 dollar and hour job at Walmart. I couldn’t find a full-time time job for two more years when I was hired once again for 8 dollars and hour, but it was a full-time job.

    So I took it and kept my part-time job at Walmart. I’m still at the full-time time job even though I have endured daily mind-numbing discrimination there.

    I am neither privileged or elitist. This website you are reading took every penny I had to put online and drains my bank account every month.

    There is no shame in having to work the streets as I said in the article. No one is blaming or shaming you for doing so.

    There is shame in not trying to reach out to those of our trans community as the people did for me.

    Callista Graves, it’s my hope that someone reads these two articles and by their good graces extend their hand as was done for me. They saved my life.

  3. Yeah, maybe I should just “get a job?” No matter that I can’t get hired in Seattle, a nominally accepting city, or the fact that I am homeless and can’t work at night without losing my shelter bed.

    But go ahead and speak from your fucking Ivory Tower! If I have to choose sex work, which I am considering, you need to keep your mouth shut, and maybe offer your understanding and compassion rather than your progressive, upper middle class white liberal idealism and victim blaming.

  4. This is some classist bullshit. Oh yes, let’s just all choose to have much more privileged lives. Problem solved! Great! SMDH. Please put a little more thought into the bigger picture of how these tragedies happen before spouting off ignorant nonsense. Try googling “intersectionality”.

  5. Keep up the good work. Most folks will nevercreally understand us. So what? All they need to do is allow us a chance to live. Using what is done out of a desperate need to survive to justify their xenophobia. Is an endless cycle.


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