Bobby V scandal response can cause Black transgender backlash

Bobby V scandal response can cause Black transgender backlash
Bobby V – photo credit Jonell Whitt for Steed Media

July was rough on R&B singers when it came to sex hijinks. First, the R. Kelly alleged sex cult, then Usher and his herpes, and finally singer Bobby V and a transgender escort.

The Bobby V. video is all over social media of the half naked singer trying to escape the verbal wrath and camera of a transgender escort named Reima Houston. Apparently, Bobby V. failed to pay her after having sex and she just wanted her money. The singer in his rush to leave left his shoes and keys behind and Reima is heard telling him when he brings her the money he can have his items back.

When the video came out, some thought it was a hoax but now it has been verified that it indeed was Bobby V. with a transgender escort. However, yesterday, a rep for the singer told media outlet TMZ he had no idea that Reima Houston was a man. The rep went on to state that when the escort realized who Bobby V. was, she attempted to extort money from him and that is why he fled the apartment.

Bobby V scandal response can cause Black transgender backlash
Transgender escort Reima Houston (Image Source: Facebook/@ Reima Houston)

Bobby V. suddenly became the victim and a cheated sex worker the villain in this salacious tale. There has been no word on how Bobby V. met Houston, but a simple check on websites such as Backpage or Craigslist will reveal dozens of sex workers available in big cities such as Atlanta. Bobby V’s defense for his decisions that night has also been a refrain in many cases of violence against a transgender person.

Most recently on the radio program “The Breakfast Club,” comedian Lil’ Duval made some controversial statements about transgenders and being tricked into a relationship and sex. Duval stated in essence that he would kill the transgender person in that instance, remarking if he had sex with a transgender person that would make him gay. Other people in the booth laughed and seemed to assent to Duval’s comments; although, one remarked killing a transgender person in that circumstance could be a hate crime. The response was that it should be just jail time, considering the circumstances.

The non-profit Human Rights Campaign has listed disturbing research when it comes to violence against transgender communities of color. In 2016, there were a reported 22 deaths of transgenders due to violence, the most ever recorded. So far in 2017,  there have been a reported 15 transgender people shot or violently murdered across the United States. Human Rights Campaign lists the following:

  • Mesha Caldwell, 41, a black transgender woman from Canton, Mississippi, was found shot to death the evening of January 4. The murder is still under investigation and no suspects have been arrested.
  • Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, 28, an American Indian woman who identified as transgender and two-spirit, was found dead in her apartment in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. A suspect, 25-year-old Joshua Rayvon LeClaire, has been arrested and charged with murder and manslaughter in connection with her death.
  • JoJo Striker, 23, a transgender woman, was found killed in Toledo, Ohio, on February 8. Striker’s mother, Shanda Striker, described her as “funny and entertaining” and said her family loved her deeply.
  • Tiara Richmond, also known as Keke Collier, 24, was fatally shot in Chicago on the morning of February 21. A transgender woman of color, she was found dead on the same street as two other transgender women that were killed in 2012.
  • Chyna Doll Dupree, 31, a Black transgender woman, was shot and killed in New Orleans on February 25. Chyna was a much-loved performer in the ballroom community who was visiting friends and family in New Orleans at the time of her death.
  • Ciara McElveen, 26, a transgender woman of color, was stabbed to death in New Orleans on February 27. McElveen did outreach for the homeless community. As of February 28, 2017, HRC has tracked at least nine murders of transgender people in Louisiana since 2013.
  • Jaquarrius Holland, 18, was shot to death in Monroe, Louisiana, on February 19. One friend, Chesna Littleberry, told Mic that Holland was “like a younger sister” and had helped her learn to accept herself.
  • Alphonza Watson, 38,  was shot and killed in Baltimore, Maryland, on March 22. Watson’s mother said her daughter was “the sunshine of our family,” a “caring, passionate” person who loved cooking and gardening.
  • Chay Reed, 28, a transgender woman of color, was shot and killed on April 21 in Miami. Reed’s longtime friend told Mic about their longtime friendship — describing her as someone who was full of life and beloved by many.
  • Kenneth Bostick, 59, was found with severe injuries on a Manhattan sidewalk, he later died of his injuries. Few details about Bostick’s life have been reported, he is believed to have been homeless at the time he was attacked.*
  • Sherrell Faulkner, 46, a transgender woman of color died on May 16, of injuries sustained during an attack on November 30, 2016, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Police are treating the assault as a homicide. No arrests have been made at this point.
  • Kenne McFadden, 27, was found in the San Antonio River on April 9. Police believe she was pushed into the river, which runs through downtown San Antonio. A high-school friend of McFadden described her to local media as assertive, charismatic and lovable. No arrests have been made, but police said they have a person of interest in custody.
  • Kendra Marie Adams, 28, was found in a building that was under construction and had burns on her body on June 13. Police have charged Michael Davis, 45, with Adams’ murder. Adams also went by Josie Berrios, the name used in initial media reports on her death.
  • Ava Le’Ray Barron, 17, was shot and killed in Athens, Georgia on June 25 during an altercation in an apartment parking lot. In an online obituary, friends remembered Barrin as a “social butterfly” and an “amazing girl” who “loved to make people laugh.”
  • Ebony Morgan, 28, was shot multiple times in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the early morning of July 2. Morgan was transferred to a local hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. Authorities have named Kenneth Allen Kelly Jr. as a person of interest in the case.
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