A person does not have to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual for them to have been the victim of an anti-LGBT hate crime. All that has to be known is that the person thought that the individual that they targeted was one of those groups. In the case of the death of nationally ranked high school basketball star Tayshana Murphy, that may be what happened.
The young woman was shot to death by three young men in the hallway of her apartment building. The police initially thought that the murder was a case of mistaken identity. Tayshana was wearing a hoodie and police thought that she was mistaken for a young man who was the actual target of the murder.
While tragic enough, the NYPD are now investigating her murder as a hate crime.
Tayshana was, according to “sources” cited in the news account, a lesbian. Her friends had placed candles and memorials in the hallway where she was shot, but recently new anti-gay and threatening graffiti was written on the walls. The messages were apparently so hateful and so violent that they were immediately painted over, but still serve as a warning and threat to other residents in the complex. That someone could so hate lesbians that they would desecrate her murder scene memorial with violent anti-gay graffiti is almost as chilling as the murder.
Even if Tayshana was not lesbian, there is always the possibility that she was murdered for just appearing to be lesbian, and because of a view of women that puts such an athletic woman into danger because of a patriarchal view that women should be far more submissive an far less athletic.