MILWAUKEE (WDJT) — A shocking discovery at an apartment fire this weekend has those in Milwaukee’s LGBTQ community, again, asking why. Cashay Henderson is now the fourth transgender woman whose life was taken in Milwaukee just in the last nine months. This latest death is increasing fears in the LGBTQ community here.
Milwaukee police say 31-year-old Cashay Henderson didn’t die from the fire in her apartment near 29th and Villard Sunday. She was shot to death.
Justin Roby is the director of Diverse & Resilient, where Henderson worked with a team empowering young transgender women.
“It has been extremely somber here in the office,” Roby said.
“She was always a very honest, loving person when she came into this space. This loss deeply impacted many of our team members,” said Roby.
Roby says adding insult to injury is that Milwaukee police first identified Henderson as male, not female.
“That has to stop. And all we ask is that we consider the dignity of the person involved, right, they deserve the same respect and privacy in their death that they do in their life.”
Since June, Milwaukee has lost two transgender women to violence — Brazil Johnson and Mya Allen — and another, Toi Davis, to “suspicious circumstances.”
“It’s very heavy. It hurts because you feel like you lost somebody in your family,” said Jessica Katzenmeyer, LGBTQ rights activist and former state Senate candidate.
Katzenmeyer, the first openly transgender woman to run for state Senate in Wisconsin, said more needs to be done.
“Enacting laws that increase penalties, hate crimes against the LGBTQ community, including the transgender community, maybe that could deter some of it. We understand each other. We understand our differences, we understand our struggles and that’s why it hurts when you see this violence because we know it could be any of us,” said Katzenmeyer.
While Milwaukee police first identified the victim as male, the medical examiner’s office later identified Henderson as female.
Diverse & Resilient is hoping for a public apology from officials.
We reached out to police for comment and are awaiting their reply.
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