Black or African American

The Lynchings Haven’t Stopped

by Annanda Barclay

On March 6th, in Galveston, Texas, a city outside of Houston, a young African-American lesbian couple was killed and dumped near a dumpster. Britney Cosby and Crystal Jackson (pictured left) were 24 years old and out to their families, yet the main suspect for this crime is Cosby’s father.

These two women shared the same age and race as myself, and lived in the same state I do. 

When the local news initially reported it, they referred to the couple only as “friends.” This caused many people to use social media to contact the news station, justifiably upset that they were unprofessional and bigoted by excluding the fact that the women were lesbian. After all, that’s likely why these women were killed in the first place—they were murdered because they were lesbian.

Murders like Britney and Crystal’s aren’t rare, and they aren’t new. Last year, when a transwoman was killed in Texas, there was no story or report about her or her death. The only reason I know of this woman’s death is due to a Transgender Day of Remembrance service I attended, where her friend asked that she may be remembered. Recently, there have been many news stories out of New York City of gay men and transwomen being killed and murdered. What is most interesting to me about all these stories is the same thing that was most interesting about Trayvon Martin’s story—for once, the news actually decided to report it.

The unfortunate truth, however, is that I am no more surprised about this father’s “honor killing” than I am about the death of Trayvon—because it’s nothing out of the ordinary for our society. Yet, what has bothered me the most about these murders is how the Black community refuses to rally around issues of justice for these two women and LGBTQ issues in general.

Where are the people of color who were outraged on Trayvon’s behalf?

Although upset, I am not surprised by the greater LGBTQ community’s response to these tragic murders—it has always prioritized the needs of white LGBTQ folk. It seems the broader Black & queer community doesn’t care what happens to its fellow LGBTQIA African-Americans. Whoever killed Brittany Crosby and Crystal Jackson in Galveston, Texas, is no different, in my opinion, than George Zimmerman.

When will these communities see that silence in regards to LGBTQ oppression is the same silence that allowed the KKK to perpetuate the lynching tree? The lack of Black communities seeing LGBTQ people as human beings has made them just as dangerous to queer folk as any racist is to a person of color.

There are times when I cannot take pride in the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement. I cannot say “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last,” knowing that we as a people seem to take no issue whatsoever with deaths, rapes, suicides, and lack of civil rights the LGBTQ community face. As if queerness identity taints Black identity—neither of which is a choice.

As a Christian, my heart aches for the Church and faith communities.

How many more people must die or suffer mental illness before the Church sees LGBTQIA people as human beings created in the image of God? And yes, that means God would have to be just as queer as heterosexual people are straight since we are all made in God’s image. The Church’s cry of “Wait!” is no different than the one Martin Luther King, Jr. was writing about in his Letter from Birmingham Jail—if we are being honest with ourselves, the audience is still the same too.

Martin Luther King was writing to pastors who were afraid to stand up and do the right thing for people of color, because they feared for their physical safety, in addition to possibly losing their job, ordination, and reputation. Pastors of today who refuse to marry LGBTQ folk, who fear to lose their ordination for speaking out, who worry about their reputation, and who cry, “Wait!” are no different than the pastors Martin Luther King was writing to while in Birmingham Jail. The Church, in general, is no different than those pastors.

Brittany and Crystal’s deaths hit home for me in so many ways. So I end with a quote from Dr. King’s letter:

I must honestly reiterate that I have been disappointed with the church. I do not say this as one of those negative critics who can always find something wrong with the church. I say this as a [follower] of the Gospel, who loves the church; who was nurtured in its bosom; who has been sustained by its spiritual blessings, and who will remain true to it as long as the cord of life shall lengthen.

Image via Elixher

Comments (15)

Taylor M

It’s things like this that
It’s things like this that make my heart ache so badly. I can understand not believing in gay rights, because life would be so boring without opinions, but going as far as to murder innocent people and to constantly bash gays is crossing the line. They haven’t done anything to you, and doing this in the name of God is a very non-Christian thing to do! They should read their Bible again and realize that God is not hateful like they think! Being a Christian isn’t about damning people to hell if they’re different, it’s about ACCEPTING the differences, even if you don’t believe in them.


It’s like the people who have
It’s like the people who have bombed Planned Parenthoods and even tracked down and killed abortion doctors — ironically for the sake of their “pro-life” beliefs. People like these honestly believe that what they are doing is right in God’s eyes and is the moral decision, but they fail at some of the most basic teachings of Christianity, namely “Teach others as you would have them treat you” and “Thou shalt not kill”. I myself am no longer religious, but having been raised Christian I know that those teachings are infinitely more important than any that advocate going against others who do not share your beliefs. For the sake of peace on earth, we all need to start respecting each other and accepting the fact that like it or not, we all have our differences in lifestyle and opinion. And as long as we are not harming anyone, we should each be left to live the way we want. These two ladies were harming nobody. If anything, they put a little more love in the world. They did not deserve to die.

Teresa Short

I totally agree with you I am
I totally agree with you I am a straight person who has many friends who are both Lesbian & Gay, To many people today judge others even before they meet them & to me that’s wrong. I love everyone in this world no matter what Color/Creed/Religion/etc. they are, the soul & content of their character as Reverend King would say; is what matters. I hope that justice finds it’s way to Texas for Britney & Crystal. May Yahweh (Insert all other God’s here..) bring understanding & an end to these senseless killings. Thank you for bringing this to people’s attention & keep doing it…never give up, the one thing we always have is Hope for the future. <3


Where was the outrage when

Where was the outrage when that black lady tortured and burned a white child?

Where is the outrage when some black teens beat a old white guy to death?

Maybe Syria, Darfur, rural India, the Swat Valley, or North Korea can get some love? Grunt a little pity for them, yeah? Or not, whatever. What I am getting at here is while you ask valid questions, there are bigger fish to fry, or sexier fish, or more interesting fish. Before someone hits this with the “clean backyard” bit, your issue with the lawn will pale in comparison with the open sewer that is your neighbor’s house. Perspective, for what its worth.

Kega Leffard

Accepting them means allowing
Accepting them means allowing them to be who they are without condemning, murdering, or preventing them from exercising their rights as citizens of this country. It’s not “hate the sin, but love the sinner”, it’s loving all because they are children of God.

Betty Cordoza

I am a STR8 ALLY and White.
I am a STR8 ALLY and White. However, I am also a member of INTEGRITY, and (hopefully) not afraid to stand up to those who are hateful. My heart goes out to the LGBT community for the loss of these two fine women.

Jennifer Avery

As a white girl, I don’t know
As a white girl, I don’t know this authors struggle to represent being black and also LGBTQAI affirming, but she did great job of showing the good person she is. She’s right that this much hatred shouldn’t be under reported. We know Matthew Shepard was killed, maybe because he was white and a man. So maybe these girls are unreported because they are three minorities: black, girls, and lesbians. That’s as wrong as those people killing them.

Myra Swintz

IA hate crime is a hate crime
IA hate crime is a hate crime. As the song we used to sing in Sunday school says “Red and yellow, balck and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus bless the little children of the world” It might not be politically correct but the sentiment is awesome. I am caucasian but my heart weeps for those women and men regardless of race, religon, creed, or preferences.

Susie Bennett

If it was Cosby’s father who
If it was Cosby’s father who killed her and her girlfriend/partner, then he’s not even on an equal plain with George Zimmerman. He’s much, much worse, because not only is he a hateful, bigoted murderer, he’s also also a traitor to his own daughter. Outside of severe mental illness such as severe postpartum depression, what parent could even conceive of murdering their own child?

Carrie H.

Just for accuracy, Let me
Just for accuracy, Let me point out that the bodies were found in Port Bolivar, which is in Galveston county (as are about 10 other towns) but is not the same as the city of Galveston. The murders (which absolutely should be classified as a hate crime, imo) took place in Houston. -Local Ally


I am so sorry that anyone has
I am so sorry that anyone has to live with such hate. Not only hated because of race but because of who you love. I live where I can marry my partner of 33 years and have all the rights of every other married couple.


Equating the justified
Equating the justified homicide of Trayvon Martin to the murders of these 2 women is a really bad way to try to make your point. Martin was killed because he was doing something illegal and causing physical damage to another. He deserved what he got. These women did not. And what point is there exactly to pointing out they are not white? Are you insinuating they were killed because they were not white and lesbian or does dropping the race card mean that you won’t have to defend your argument? Racism will exist as long as it is continuously brought up as an argument ender or to put one person above another because of the color of their skin/


All of the clues point to
All of the clues point to young lady’s father. He was arrested for tampering with evidence. There was also evidence in his home and homophobic slurs written in his religious text. This was no act of racism, but an act of homophobia. A hate crime, indeed. They haven’t made a final verdict. Even if all the clues point to him.

Catherine A.

I cannot hit “Like” for a
I cannot hit “Like” for a post such as this. We need a “My heart is breaking in sympathy” or somesuch like response. I will pray for this couple and their parents and I will continue to work daily for all to see each person as a child of God.


Thank you for writing about
Thank you for writing about this disturbing and heartbreaking issue–hope to see more blogs from you.

Comments are closed.