Last night, Bad Bunny used his appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to pay homage to Alexa Negrón Luciano, a homeless trans woman who was murdered in Puerto Rico on Sunday.
Performing his song “Ignorantes” with Sech and the Roots, Bad Bunny took the stage wearing a skirt and a shirt that read, in Spanish, “They killed Alexa, not a man in a skirt.” The statement refers to Puerto Rican media reports on Negrón’s death that refer to her as “a man in a skirt” instead of a trans woman.
According to The New York Times, Negrón was a “well-known figure” on Puerto Rican social media, because users would frequently post pictures and comments mocking her. Shortly before her death, someone posted photos of Negrón being questioned by the police after she allegedly “peeped at another customer” in the women’s bathroom at a local McDonald’s, and it went viral. Not 12 hours later, she was “framed in the headlights of a car” and fatally shot, a moment that was also reportedly posted on social media.
According to Metro Puerto Rico, members of her community remembered her as “humble” and “noble.” She was 27 years old.
Negrón’s death has sparked outrage about the prevalence of transphobia and homophobia in Puerto Rico. “These crimes are not only committed against the victim that is the target,” Pedro Julio Serrano, a leading gay rights activist in Puerto Rico, told The Times. “It’s a crime that sends a message to a whole sector of the community that they are in danger. It’s putting you in your place.” Although community organizers have proposed sensitivity training for the police and a gender-based curriculum for public schools, religious leaders have continually opposed such initiatives.
Targeted violence against trans and gender non-conforming people continues to be a global crisis. Last fall, the Trans Murder Monitoring Project (TMMP) reported that a total of 331 TGNC people around the world were reported killed between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019, with many other cases going unreported because of unreliable data collection and the fact that individuals may not be properly identified as TGNC.
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