Transgender woman found murdered in Chicago
The murder of a 28-year-old transgender woman on the South Side has left the city’s trans residents feeling sad, frustrated and vulnerable.
The scant details available regarding the life of Sandy Woulard, born Credale, have only compounded those feelings. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, a passing motorist found her laying in the street near a church located at 7500 S. Halsted in Hamilton Park around 3 a.m. on Monday, June 21. Sandy was pronounced dead at 3:45 a.m. at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County.
Activists said mainstream media accounts of the crime, which described the victim as "a man dressed in women’s clothing," only added insult to injury. They say this description does not match the life she led. And it only contribute to harmful stereotypes about trans people some ultimately use to justify violence against them.
Owen Daniel-McCarter, an attorney with the Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois, said he had worked with several people who knew Sandy; and they confirmed she had identified as a trans woman for as long as they had known her-in one case, that was eight years.
Daniel-McCarter said the area where Sandy was found is known within trans circles for prostitution. Other sources confirmed Woulard had been arrested several times for prostitution. Consistent with the police report, Sandy was found with money in her purse, it appears likely a client committed the crime with a motive beyond robbery.
A coalition of trans activists representing the Illinois Gender Advocates, Center on Halsted, Howard Brown Health Center, Genderqueer Chicago and other groups gathered last week to discuss the murder and consider a community response.
Candice V. Hart, vice-chair of Illinois Gender Advocates, said the coalition hoped to "translate our anger into action" by working more closely with the city’s police department and media on sensitivity around trans issues. She also advocates for allowing the police the space and time they need to complete their investigation.