Transgender support community speaks out after increased violenc

Transgender support community speaks out after increased violence

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Dream Hampton, local writer and filmmaker is producing a documentary Dream Hampton, local writer and filmmaker is producing a documentary
(WJBK) -

Members of the transgendered community say, after losing another member to violence, they are ready for the violent acts against them to stop.

Detroit police discovered a body inside an alley trash can Friday night off Woodward Avenue. Members of Detroit's transgender community say the victim was one of their own.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Detroit police have confirmed this.

Researchers and a local filmmaker are working to raise awareness on the violence directed towards transgendered people here in Metro Detroit.

Filmmaker Dream Hampton says when trans women are murdered, it often involved brutality, dismemberment and torture.

One mother whose trans daughter, Shelly, was murdered two years ago calls the acts an "epidemic" and that trans people are "treated like they're not even humans."

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to hear more from Hampton and Shelly's mother

Hampton is producing a documentary sharing Shelly's story in her mother's quest for justice.

Meanwhile, the Ruth Ellis Center provides a safe space for LGBTQ youth. Jerry Peterson, the center's executive director, says the center works with approximately 100 transgendered youth every year, and that many have been forced to the streets to become sex workers to survive.

Peterson says a lack of understanding about the transgendered community can lead to violence, so he explains what it means to be transgendered, saying, "Our biological sex assigned at birth may be male, but who we understand ourselves to be, our hormonal balances, everything that happens inside, we understand ourselves to be female - or the opposite."

More questions are also addressed in the question-and-answer session with Fox 2's Alexis Wiley. You can watch that video in the video player above.

LINK: Click here for more information on the Ruth Ellis Center

The center is located at 77 Victor St. in Highland Mark, Mich.

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