Amanda Milan (1974 – June 20, 2000, originally born Damon Lee Dyer) was a pre-operative transsexual prostitute who was killed by two men in front of a New York bus terminal at the age of twenty-five. Amanda worked as a prostitute to gain the money required for sex reassignment surgery.
Amanda grew up in Chicago. Not much is known about her childhood years. Approximately eight years before her murder, at the age of eighteen, Amanda came out to her friends as transgender. Since then, she had been living in a Central Park apartment with her dog. She traveled often to Europe, where she worked as an escort and had dreams of becoming a fashion designer.
She sometimes hung out with a group of fellow transsexuals at McDonald's. She and her two closest friends, Kim and Simone, also transsexuals, were inseparable for nearly ten years until Kim went to Australia and was found mangled at the bottom of a cliff. Half a year later, Amanda's other friend Simone left town to live with a boyfriend in San Francisco but was found dead soon after, thrown out of a fifth-story window.
At 4 a.m. on June 20, Amanda was waiting to catch a bus after leaving a get-together with her friends when a man by the name of Dwayne McCuller walked up to her and began to harass her. He yelled sentences ridden with expletives at her and phrases such as "I know what you have between your legs!" Amanda attempted to retort and challenged him to a fight. He threatened to shoot her so she began to walk away when another young man, Eugene Celestine, told McCuller that he had a knife. McCuller grabbed it, chased her down the street and stabbed her in the neck.
Passerby attempted to stop the bleeding and an ambulance arrived to take her to the hospital; however, despite their attempts, she died in less than an hour at St. Vincent's Hospital.
A man named David Anderson allegedly helped McCuller escape from the scene, but all three men were eventually caught.
Dwayne McCuller was charged with homicide. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to seventeen and a half years to life in prison.
Transgender activists, particularly in New York, have been fueled by the crime, notable for its extremely graphic nature.
The poet & artist Christian Ortega knew Amanda Milan well and was devastated at her loss. Christian has said: "Our lives were going in the same direction for a long while, but eventually we went down different roads." He dedicated his 2nd book "I Know What You Did In The 80's" to her memory. Preview "IKWYDIT8" at SHORT URL: http://midd.me/y6et
- Siegal, Nina. "Watershed of Mourning At the Border of Gender." http://www.nytimes.com/library/national/regional/072400ny-victim-milan.html
- Siegal, Nina. "The Crying Game." http://archive.salon.com/news/feature/2001/06/20/milan/index.html
- Transgendered victims of hate crimes by state. http://www.gpac.org/press/victims-state.html