UPDATE: Eugena Washington has removed the photograph and accompanying transphobic caption from her Instagram account.
Eugena Washington, a model and former contestant on America’s Next Top Model (Cycle 7), posted a photo on Instagram last night with the caption: “Turned my roomie into a tranny cuz… That’s what I do to people when I’m bored.” She then tagged her roommate, Mari Agory. When a trans woman posted in the comment section, “As I [sic] transsexual I find that comment tackless @eugenawashington,” Washington, who has previously posed for lines like Smashbox and South Pole, responded, “Oh gawd…” indirectly (she didn’t tag the trans woman in the comment). Washington’s roommate then responded with an emoticon that’s crying from laughter and the comment: “…always that one person! Lol.” Her Instagram followers also chimed in, appearing amused that this trans woman (someone impacted everyday by slurs like “tranny” in a very tangible way) was offended.
Studies show that transgender women of color are disproportionately impacted by violence. According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), in 2012, 53.8% of anti-LGBTQ homicide victims were transgender women. This was a considerable increase from 2011 (40%) and continues a three-year trend toward disproportionate and severe violence experienced by transgender women. The 2012 report also found that 73.1% of all anti-LGBTQ homicide victims in 2012 were people of color.
Disappointed and disgusted by the exchange, ELIXHER’s editor-in-chief left a comment before she unfollowed Washington from her personal Instagram account: “‘Tranny’ is a transphoic slur and it fuels hate and stigma against transgender women (often trans women of color get the brunt of this). Really disappointed @eugenawashington. Followed your journey since ANTM. Now unfollowing.”