Militant Journalism

Vigil honors the life of Diamond Brigman, Black trans woman murdered in Houston

On the afternoon of March 24, dozens of friends and community members gathered in a courtyard in Houston’s museum district to remember and honor the life of Diamond Brigman. Brigman, a 36-year-old Black transgender woman, was murdered in southwest Houston earlier in the month.

The vigil was organized by several organizations dedicated to improving the lives of trans people, the founders of which knew her personally. Friends described Brigman as someone who was “larger than life” and working towards making positive changes in her life. They vowed to continue fighting towards creating a world where trans people are no longer targeted just for being who they are.

Brigman was killed in the early morning of March 16. Witnesses say that a white Chevy Malibu circled the area several times before pulling up to Brigman. A man exited the passenger’s seat and shot Brigman multiple times before getting back in the vehicle and fleeing the scene. A witness who saw what happened contacted authorities and stayed with Brigman until paramedics arrived. Authorities later located the vehicle that was used in the crime. The man who killed her has yet to be either named or located.

The vigil for Brigman, which was organized by Save Our Sisters United, the Mahogany Project and the Lavender Rights Project, brought attention to the epidemic of anti-trans violence nationally and within the state of Texas in particular. Atlantis Narcisse, the founder of Save Our Sisters United, said of the anti-trans crimes, “there was another transgender vigil that happened last Saturday, and we have seen three crimes near the [S.O.S.U.] office. How many deaths are not being told?” 

The anti-trans violence is not occurring in a vacuum. It is part of an organized assault on transgender people and the LGBTQ community more broadly by right-wing politicians with the help of corporate media. Since the beginning of 2024, there have been more than 400 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in state houses across the country, and that number is only growing. The overwhelming majority of these bills specifically target trans people, seeking to erase them from public life by banning them from school sports, from using the restroom of their gender, banning health care for minors and removing books with references to trans people from school curricula. In Texas specifically, Gov. Greg Abbott has signed laws banning transgender youth from accessing vital gender-affirming care and from participating in college sports. Attorney General Ken Paxton has even tried to create a registry of trans children so that their parents can be investigated for “child abuse”. 

The violence against trans people in the streets is directly correlated to the assaults against trans people in legislation. Between 2017 and 2021, the number of trans people who were murdered nearly doubled. There is also a racist component to who is being attacked: a staggering 90.9% of trans people killed last year were people of color, and at least half of all victims were Black trans women.

The push to erase trans people from public life is part of an age-old divide-and-rule tactic. Because capitalist politicians’ policies are so unpopular, they create scapegoats such as immigrants and trans people to keep the working class divided. We must recognize that bigotry and violence is not a personal issue that springs from thin air, but a tactic used by the ruling class to keep us fighting ourselves.

Justice for Diamond Brigman!

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