Transgender woman killed by border agent tragically misidentified
Many members of the LGBTQ+ community across the country are outraged by the misidentification of transgender woman Nikki Enriquez who was one of four victims killed by Border Patrol supervisor Juan David Ortiz.
When they identified the four victims, Texas law enforcement misgendered Enriquez and released her deadname to the public.
The 28-year-old identifies as both Nikki Enriquez and Janelle Ortiz (no relation to the accused killer).
"Disregarding the victim's gender identity and misgendering them in news reports adds further insult to injury, compounding the tragedy by invalidating who the victims were," GLAAD, the gay rights organization told USA Today.
Often media outlets misidentify transgender individuals because police give out incorrect information.
“There are a lot of problems with the way media identify transgender individuals, but police are often ground zero for giving out misinformation on names and pronouns of transgender victims,” said Sue Yacka-Bible, GLAAD communications director.
Many were not officially aware of Enriquez’s death because of this issue.
“If you are investigating someone by their deadname, a transgender individual’s friends, family, co-workers and associates may not know who authorities are talking about and that could hinder an investigation right from the start,” she said.
Enriquez was killed Friday only hours before Ortiz was arrested in Laredo, Texas.
At first the Texas police listed Enriquez as “John Doe” before they discovered her identity.
It appears law enforcement used the wrong name for the victim, having first used her legal name.
“I can foresee documents being amended to include ‘also known as,’” Webb County District Attorney office said.
There was much outrage from this mistake and trans right activist Monica Roberts, founder of TransGriot, conveyed her frustration.
“Been aware that we lost a trans woman since Saturday but took me this long to confirm it because in large part of her being deadnamed and misgendered by Webb County law enforcement officials before they corrected it,” she said.
Roberts tracks transgender homicide victims and explained Enriquez was the 21st transgender person to be killed in 2018 in Texas and the second Latina.
Many are outraged the Enriquez family wishes to identify her with her deadname.
Enriquez was out and proud and in one of her last Facebook post of a selfie she said “Lo bonit[o] no se quita,” which translates roughly to “beauty cannot be taken away.”
Copyright The Gayly. 9/20/2018 @ 12:57 p.m. CST.