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Press Release: Ally Steinfeld Murder

September, 27, 2017

It is under the most serious of circumstances that I speak with you this morning. Over the last few days, we learned of the brutal murder of Ally Steinfeld, age 16, a transgender woman and resident of Houston, Missouri in Texas County, a county that borders my US Congressional District. A very heinous crime committed against young woman who was loved by her parents and loved by her friends and by her local community. As members of the transgender community, we are all too familiar with being victims of hate crimes. In 2016, hate crimes against transgender people rose a sickening 170%. Transgender people are twice as likely to be attacked when compared to the black or Jewish community and are four times as likely to be attacked compared to the Muslim community. In the United States, 40% of all LGBTQ murders are transgender women.

Being transgender is biology. We are not a lifestyle. We are not mentally ill. We are simply different, one of God’s many wonderful creations. Scientists have proven that our brain scans are different, our genetics are different, and we exist in every culture and in every nation on earth. Many of us have faith and we practice that faith by being active in our churches.

Rather than represent all of the people of their districts, political leaders have openly attacked us by attempting to pass laws that restrict which bathroom we can use, restrict our ability to change our identity documents, restrict our ability to be parents, and restrict our ability to serve our country in our military. These negative policies have a direct impact on our communities and, particularly, our young people. Somewhere in Missouri, there is a young transwoman just like Ally Steinfeld that questions if there is a place in society for her. Somewhere in Missouri, there is a parent concerned that their transgender child will share a fate similar to Ally’s. We must stop this hatred and prevent another transgender person from becoming a murder victim simply because their biology is different.

 

Policy makers from the cis community want to define the narrative for us by debating our healthcare options. They insist that despite the evidence presented by scientists of six (6) biological sexes, that there are only two and that we must all conform to either binary. We will not allow this debate. Our healthcare is not society’s concerns. We are entitled to the same rights as everyone else including the right to have a good job, have a family life, and have access to public services including healthcare. No transgender person should be asked in any public forum whether or not they have had surgery.

Political and community leaders who advocate these malicious anti-transgender policies and who promote this type of hatred towards the transgender community are morally wrong. Many proclaim to have some higher moral authority claiming evidence in scripture. We are here to inform them that under the US and Missouri constitutions these people were not granted such authority. As a transgender community, we will not tolerate continued hatred towards are community and we are willing to fight for our rights. No longer will we be hiding in the shadows allowing the broader society to define who we are. We are Americans like everyone else. We are entitled to the same rights as everyone else. We will be loud and we will be loud because being transgender is beautiful.

We call on Missouri Governor Eric Greitens to publicly condemn this hatred and this murder and to reassure the Missouri public that this hatred will no longer be tolerated. We ask that Parke Stevens, Texas County Prosecutor, charge the suspects with murder and as a hate crime and that those individuals receive the maximum penalty allowed under law including the death penalty, so that all Missourians young and old will come to learn that these crimes will not be tolerated. Join me in condemning this act and demanding a response from our public officials. Our prayers go out to Ally, her family, her friends, her classmates, and everyone else that was fortunate enough to experience Ally's love and compassion.

Sincerely,

Jenna Marie Bourgeois
America’s First Republican Transgender Candidate for US Congress
Missouri’s 4th District


The Committee to Elect Jenna Marie Bourgeois

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