Assemblymember Robert J. Rodriguez Responds to the Death of Janette O'Sullivan

Community begins to heal after news of Ms. O'Sullivan's death became public a month after her passing

New York, NY – On October 25, 2019, the NYPD found Janette O'Sullivan's body in her home 10 days after her passing. Her death did not become public until November 25, 2019. The NYPD is continuing their investigation, and the cause of death has not yet been determined. Ms. O'Sullivan was a black transgender woman – her death, how long it took for her body to be found, and how long it took for her death to become public is a tragedy for our community.

"Ms. O'Sullivan was a working class, black, transgender woman who faced a myriad of oppressive and violent systems. A victim of transphobia and anti-blackness, she battled poverty and was shut out of the traditional economy. She struggled with the violence inherent in the criminalization of sex workers. As the investigation remains ongoing, our community must now struggle for closure without answers – for closure without an explanation. This is painful and nothing short of tragic.

"Ms. O'Sullivan's death is the 27th transgender death in the United States this year alone. As we begin to heal, and to remember and honor her life, we cannot avoid the reality of the present dangers of discrimination, phobias, and violence that transgender persons continue to face on a daily basis. To honor the life of Ms. O'Sullivan also means for our communities to protect the lives of those in similar situations. If there is a promise of safety for all, then there is a promise that no one is forgotten," said Assemblymember Robert J. Rodriguez.

On Sunday, December 8, 2019 at 6pm in front of 55 East 110th Street, activist TS Candii, Black Youth Project 100, Make The Road NY, and Red Canary will organize a vigil in remembrance of Janette O'Sullivan.