Vigil for trans woman killed in Tampa planned

Friends as well as members and allies of the local trans community are planning a vigil Friday evening to remember India Clarke, the transgender woman who was found dead in a park within the University Area Community Center in Tampa early Tuesday.

Investigators say Clarke, 25, died of blunt force trauma. Authorities are offering up to $3,000 to anyone who may have details that could help lead to an arrest.

Clarke is the 10th known transgender person to die violently this year.

And even as popular culture has rapidly evolved toward inclusiveness and understanding of transgender people over the past year or two, the local news media's treatment of the case shows that there is still quite a ways to go, organizers said.

"Unfortunately she has been reported by several news sources incorrectly with improper pronouns, transphobic phrases and in an inflammatory manner which is a continuation of violence and disrespect by not honoring her identity."

Indeed, at least one news headline linking to a story about the incident Tuesday morning referred to the victim as a man in women's clothing, underscoring the level of insensitivity still prevalent among some, and many news stories refer to Clarke as a male.

Friday's event will take place at Lykes Gaslight Square Park at 8 p.m.

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