In November, the activist group calling itself the Human Rights Campaign Foundation released its 2023 report on violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people.
The report claimed that 33 “transgender and gender nonconforming” individuals were killed in the United States between November 2022 and November 2023 in what HRC President Kelley Robinson called an “epidemic of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people.”
Kelly said the killings were the “result of a society that demeans and devalues anyone who dares challenge the gender binary.”
But how are these deaths counted? What constitutes violence against the “transgender” community?
A death that occurred after the HRC report’s window might give a clue to how expansive the HRC’s definitions are.
On Friday, the group posted a photograph to its account on the social media platform X with the caption, “Meghan Riley Lewis, a trans woman and a mother of two, devoted her life to feeding and housing queer people. She was killed in Bel Air, MD., on Dec. 27, 2023, marking at least the 31st violent killing of a trans or gender non-conforming person last year.”
Meghan Riley Lewis, a trans woman and a mother of two, devoted her life to feeding and housing queer people.
She was killed in Bel Air, MD., on Dec. 27, 2023, marking at least the 31st violent killing of a trans or gender non-conforming person last year. https://t.co/eC5ZIxSFBD
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) January 6, 2024
It sounded heartbreaking — like the senseless death of an innocent person.
The HRC also posted a piece about Lewis on its website, writing, “We must demand better from our elected officials and reject harmful anti-transgender legislation at the local, state and federal levels, while also considering every possible way to make ending this violence a reality. It is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, especially Black transgender women. The intersections of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia and homophobia conspire to deprive them of necessities to live and thrive, so we must all work together to cultivate acceptance, reject hate and end stigma for everyone in the trans and gender non-conforming community.”
But was this death really the result of a “conspiracy” at “the intersections of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia and homophobia?”
According to WBAL-TV in Baltimore, police reported that on Dec. 28, an altercation took place between Lewis and a food delivery driver identified as Brian Michael Delen, 47, while Delen was out on a food delivery,
According to WBAL, court documents state that Delen asked Lewis, “Are you waiting for a food delivery, sir?” to which Lewis took offense at being addressed as “sir.” An argument ensued, with Lewis yelling at Delen as he began driving away, WBAL reported.
But Lewis followed him on foot.
Delen then got out of his vehicle, and the altercation escalated, at which point Delen allegedly produced a gun and shot Lewis, killing him, according to WBAL.
According to the Baltimore Sun, Delen had a permit for the weapon, and he had visible injuries on his body.
But there was even more.
Journalist and senior editor at The Post Millenial Andy Ngo commented on HRC’s post that described Lewis as “a trans woman and a mother of two, devoted her life to feeding and housing queer people.”
Ngo posted what appeared to be a court document with a photograph of Lewis as a man with the caption, “Your post is misleading. Meghan Riley Lewis (pictured below), previously known as Jimmy Wayne Lewis, lived life as a heterosexual male. Lewis’ two children have a mother, the woman who was granted a protective order against Lewis in a domestic violence case.”
“The man charged in this homicide incident says Lewis accosted and pursued him during a food delivery, leading to a fight. Lewis was shot and died. Brian Delen, the charged man, had documented injuries,” Ngo wrote.
Your post is misleading. Meghan Riley Lewis (pictured below), previously known as Jimmy Wayne Lewis, lived life as a heterosexual male. Lewis’ two children have a mother, the woman who was granted a protective order against Lewis in a domestic violence case. The man charged in… https://t.co/AheH8N3wQu pic.twitter.com/BlUszlsGSU
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) January 7, 2024
While this is still an open case, clearly, there was more to the story than HRC claimed.
Documented evidence shows that the alleged shooter had injuries on his body consistent with his story that the shooting was the result of an altercation, not some sort of hate crime. The fact that Delen has been released on his own recognizance, according to WBAL, might say something about how the case might end up in court.
After Ngo’s comment, HRC shut down the comment section of its X account— clearly to stop the barrage of comments calling the group out for its deceptive reporting.
But it was too little, too late. Some comments already on the post are still visible.
This was no hate crime.
The shooting had nothing to do with the victim being trans.
TRANS GENOCIDE DOES NOT EXIST. pic.twitter.com/hd4ScHbXRI
— David Leatherwood 🇺🇸 (@brokebackUSA) January 6, 2024
Turns out when you assault a delivery driver, sometimes it will go badly for you.
— Orsnoire (@Orsnoire1) January 6, 2024
Just another self entitled man that got offended because he was call the right gender! The delivery guy don’t know how he wants to be call? How come he got offended because he was misgendered as I we know he’s a dude. You can’t force people to call you something that your not.
— Jorge Marmolejo (@regularjorge) January 6, 2024
The humans rights campaign is a leading disseminator of disinformation and misinformation and malinformation.
— Ice Cream Joe (@HenryCarnitas) January 6, 2024
The victim narrative of the transgender community has led to schools, sports communities and corporations bending over backward with rules about misgendering and letting men into women’s spaces.
It pays to play the victim card, and the HRC has a stash of them.
Claiming a hate crime without knowing all the facts over an altercation that, according to reports, seems to have been provoked by an over-sensitive member of their community is just one example of how the game works.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.