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LGBT support meeting follows shooting of Lynchburg transgender woman

The Lynchburg Diversity Center hosted the discussion to address anxiety

LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Lynchburg Diversity Center hosted a discussion Wednesday evening for the community following the shooting death of a transgender woman. Many in the LGBT community knew 28-year-old Ebony Morgan, who was killed Sunday, and now say they have anxiety about their safety in their home town.

WSLS spoke with India Laposh, a transgender woman living in Lynchburg, about how Morgan's death affected her.

"We're just in disbelief, because this is somebody that everybody knew, everybody cared about," said Laposh.

Laposh says she can't believe something like this could happen in her home town, and it has her worried.

"Lynchburg is small, and for us to have a slight trans community, it's like we don't know if we're about to be targeted," said Laposh.

Police are not ruling the shooting as a hate crime at this time, but Morgan's death marks 15 homicides of transgender people across the United States this year according to the Human Rights Campaign. Mental health counselor Lisa Whitaker says that's reason for the LGBT community to feel nervous.

"That's normal for them to be anxious, but also for the rest of us to try and support them as much as we can and remind them that there are other people out there who are not out to hurt them at all and want to be there when times are especially tough," said Whitaker.

Moving forward, the Diversity Center says it will work on arranging a buddy system for people who don't want to go out in the community alone.

In addition to the meeting Wednesday night, the Diversity Center is also hosting an alter-building ceremony at 7:30 pm on Friday to honor all of the transgender victims of violence.