Making of a Monster: Media Constructions of Transgender Victims of Homicide

There is a general sentiment in public discourse that victims are good and innocent, and offenders are bad. This dichotomy is blurred when the victim is somehow socially undesirable, such as people who do not conform to society’s expectation for gender, or victims who are not white. In the case of gender non-conforming victims of homicide, especially transwomen of color, the media often portray the victims as deceivers, or criminal, insinuating the victim is to blame for their attack. This study focuses on the media portrayal of 259 homicide victimizations that occurred between 1995 and 2014. Using content analysis, we explore these cases through the victims, offenders and news media.