Black Trans Woman Found Hanging From A Tree Ruled A Suicide W/o Investigation, Family Says She Wasn’t Suicidal
Yet another young, Black LGBTQ life has been lost. This comes nearly days after two Black trans women – Dominique Rem’mie Fells and Riah Milton – were killed last week, and trans woman Iyanna Dior was viciously beaten during Minnesota protests.
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What are we coming to as humans? This is absolute savage… I am disgusted, I am heartbroken, I cry for this woman my sister??. We have to do better people we must do better… if all faith is lost in humanity WE must call on God because this is beyond beyond. GOD HELP US?? # Repost from @theperezhilton • My heart hurts for #IyannaDior. This painful video is a sad reminder that trans women of color are the most vulnerable in our LGBT community. They regularly are assaulted, cast aside by their families and WORSE. We must do better!!! Believe me these videos are extremely hard to watch and even harder to post. But believe me the hardest part is being the person in the video living the reality. Our stories will be told or voices and cries will be heard and the truth will set us free #BlackLivesMatter
Homeless transgender woman Otis “TeTe” Michael Gulley Jr. was found hanging from a tree in Portland, Oregon in May. Police immediately deemed her death a suicide without investigation. TeTe’s family says authorities have been slow to investigate because she’s Black and queer. Her sister, Crystal Gulley, said:
“They’re not doing what they’re supposed to. My brother wasn’t suicidal. He wasn’t the type of person to harm himself. He’s never harmed himself in the history of time. And I know I wasn’t around him everyday, but that’s my brother, he’s not.”
In fact, their family moved to Portland from Kansas City, Missouri so that TeTe would be safer due to her sexuality. Crystal continued:
“It’s dangerous where we’re from, so to avoid the situation we’re dealing with now, he was here…All the transes we grew up with, they were killed, and the police in Kansas City didn’t do anything about it. Nothing. My brother lost all his friends. And it’s like the same thing here. They don’t care about us.”
Adding to suspicion, the family says they were not permitted to see TeTe’s body for nearly a week after she died. She was cremated shortly after. The Portland Police Bureau insists that because due to lack of public interest, no documents had been released. The PPB issued this statement:
“The Police Bureau does not determine cause or manner of death, does not perform autopsies, does not determine whether or not an autopsy should be performed, and does not have the authority to release documents from other agencies. The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office has these roles.”
The specifics of TeTe’s death are still unclear. The family hopes to get answers soon.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Otis “TeTe” Michael Gulley Jr.