NEW YORK (Information) – Layleen Cubilette-Polanco had skilled some tough patches in her 27 years however had tried to vary course, looking for to modify out of earlier jobs as a go-go dancer and intercourse employee for employment in locations like McDonald’s and Walgreens, her sister stated.
Layleen Cubilette-Polanco, a transgender girl who died in June of problems from epilepsy in New York’s infamous Rikers Island jail, poses in an undated photograph in New York. Courtesy of Melania Brown through Information
She by no means accomplished that journey. Cubilette-Polanco died in June of problems from epilepsy in New York’s infamous Rikers Island jail the place she spent her closing two months, unable to make $500 bail.
On Wednesday, transgender advocates throughout the nation will pause to commemorate individuals like Cubilette-Polanco for the Transgender Day of Remembrance.
Vigils will draw consideration to no less than 22 transgender individuals, virtually all of them black girls, who’ve been killed to date in 2019. An identical quantity have been killed in every of the previous seven years, as tracked by the Human Rights Marketing campaign, the most important LGBTQ advocacy in the US.
The marketing campaign will make particular be aware of Cubilette-Polanco. Although she was not a murder sufferer just like the others, her story illustrates the insecurity of trans girls of colour, who usually tend to be unemployed and lack entry to healthcare.
After a youth spent serving to others, whether or not rescuing stray animals or bringing residence runaway youngsters needing a spot to remain, she determined to begin serving to herself, sister Melania Brown stated.
“The final couple of months of her life, she wished the change. She wished to get an actual job. She wished to satisfy herself in society, and society let her down,” stated Brown, who believed that discrimination by no means gave the Dominican-born U.S. citizen a good probability within the job market.
As soon as energetic within the Home of Xtravaganza underground ballroom scene beneath the title Layleen Xtravaganza, Cubilette-Polanco was arrested in April on fees of misdemeanor assault and theft over an altercation with a taxi driver. Bail was set at $500 attributable to a 2017 prostitution arrest, native media reported, citing arrest information.
She lived with epilepsy and schizophrenia, in keeping with a federal lawsuit her household filed in opposition to the town’s Division of Correction.
“Layleen suffered a seizure whereas in her cell and died as a direct and proximate results of the town’s, its brokers’, and its staff’ refusal to supply Layleen with an affordable lodging for her incapacity,” the lawsuit stated.
The Human Rights Marketing campaign has recorded no less than 157 homicides of transgender individuals since 2013, almost all of them girls of colour.
Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Modifying by Bernadette Baum