Activist: Crossdressing man was targeted, murdered

A young man was found dead and gay community activists fear he was targeted for his sexual orientation.

Julisa Abad is remembering her friend, the man known as Melvin, found near McNichols and Woodward Monday morning

"Melvin identified as a gay male not transgender," said Abad, a trans advocate. "He did cross dress from time to time in order to make a living."

Detroit Police are not releasing the victim's real name but said they were called to the 100 block of Arizona to investigate a homicide.

"When they arrived at the scene they found a black male in 30s dressed in women's clothing, fatally shot," said Officer Danielle Woods.

Abad, who lives her life as a transgender person, says she had to move out of the McNichols and Woodward area because she says it's not safe for members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community, known as LGBT.

Police say there were two homicides this year in that area involving transgendered victims, one case was solved and the other still open.

"We are very scared," Abad said. "Transgender people as well as members of the LGBT, have been victimized and are targets in (the) 6 Mile and Woodward (area)."

Detroit Police are working to establish an advisory committee that will help police reach out to members of the LGBT community.

"We already have a bridge, I'm the bridge from the community to the department and vice-versa," Woods said. "What we're trying to do is gain more allies."

ABAD says she has applied to be a member of this advisory board and believes it's a necessary step to provide protection for herself and others in the LGBT community who often feel unsafe because of who they are.

"Spread awareness and stop the violence," Abad said.

If you would like to learn more about submitting an application to serve on the advisory board should email Officer Danielle Woods at

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