Evon "Yung LT" Young, the 22-year-old transgender male rapper who has been missing since New Year's Day, is the alleged victim of a gruesome murder, according to Milwaukee authorities.
Recently, police arrested five suspects accused of killing Young, one of whom is known to be a friend of the late rapper. The suspects have all been charged by the Milwaukee District Attorney's office with first-degree intentional homicide. Although Young's body has not yet been recovered, several items of evidence were collected, including DNA, burned clothing, blood and a chain which was allegedly used to choke Young during the attack.
The media coverage of Young's case has been problematic, with many reporters referring to Young by the name and gender he was assigned at birth. By doing this, journalists misrepresent who Young was, and bring unnecessary anguish to the family and loved ones who are mourning his loss. While some outlets have corrected these issues in their stories, many more remain that continue to use the name and gender ascribed to Young by police reports, rather than that with which he lived publicly. FORGE, a local transgender advoacy group, is continuing to call for accurate and respectful coverage of Young. It is crucial that media outlets respect the identities of transgender people in their coverage, especially in stories where transgender people have already been victimized by violent crime.
GLAAD will continue to closely monitor this story.