“Another Magic Player Murdered.”


How would running into that headline feel? If you’re anything like me, it would hurt. It would hurt to see a person reduced down to one facet of a complicated identity; no Magic player I know is just a Magic player. It would hurt because “another” speaks to the way that the lives of Magic players are less valued, to the point that Magic player murders have become just another thing. It’s 67 degrees outside, and another Magic player is dead.


That wasn’t the headline, of course, but that was the thrust. “Transgender community mourns another Philly slaying.” Last Saturday, in a part of a city I know, a trans woman was murdered. And as is typical for the murders of trans people in that particular city, there is no suspect nor is one likely to be found. This is a city where the police murdered a trans woman and faced no consequence.


It wasn’t super surprising to hear.


How messed up is that?


I went to read through the story, anticipating it would hit all the usual beats: vibrant person, maybe some involvement with sex work presented in a uniquely awful way, and several degrees of separation between me and the girl in question. These dead women are of my community, but usually well away from my nerdy little social knot. But this time, I’m not sure that’s the case.


You see, Maya Young played Magic in Philadelphia. I played Magic in Philadelphia. While we never met, we probably knew some of the same people. And that those ties cut through the Magic community, and not the trans community, was unexpected.


It made it a little more real, in other words. How crazy is that? We shared a hobby and an identity, and yet somehow that little detail helped hammer that atrocity a little closer home. Because it is an atrocity. And it must stop.


Maybe that will make this whole thing a little more real for some of you cis people too. Because this past weekend a Magic player was murdered for no fucking reason.


Why can we accept that?


Jess Stirba is at a loss.

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