Pride Month: Dashad “Sage” Smith

In honor of Pride Month I’m featuring a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer missing person every day for the month of June. Today’s case is Dashad Laquinn Smith, who not long before her disappearance had started using a new name, Sage. Sage was last seen in Charlottesville, Virginia on November 20, 2012, just weeks before her twentieth birthday.

It took me awhile to figure out Sage’s identity. The original articles about her said she sometimes dressed as a woman but specifically said she wasn’t trans. However, this feature article¬†explains that Sage, who had previously identified as a gay man, had started identifying as a transgender woman. So here we are.

Sage’s life wasn’t easy.¬† It isn’t easy for most trans people, particularly trans women of color. She spent time in foster care in childhood after her mom was deemed unfit. Her apartment was paid for by the state because of the foster care thing, but she was working minimum wage jobs and barely getting by. She was studying cosmetology and dreamed of better things.

Not that much is known about Sage’s disappearance, because the person of interest in her case, Erik McFadden, the last person known to have seen her, went on a runner and hasn’t popped back up yet in five and a half years. Hmm…

It doesn’t look good. McFadden isn’t the only person of interest — some of Sage’s other acquaintances seem sketchy — but you have to wonder what is compelling him to stay out of sight for this long. And meanwhile, Sage has a loving family who misses her very much.

Question about Dashad Smith’s casefile

In Dashad Smith’s casefile, can any of you actually see the photo of Erik McFadden I put on there? Because I can’t. and in fact, I’ve never been able to. I don’t see anything wrong with my code, and there’s no “broken image” symbol, and you can see the picture at its image URL, but I can’t see it on the casefile on either Google Chrome or Internet Explorer, or on either my old laptop or on Orville. I tried changing the image file name, I tried substituting a different photo for the first one I’d selected, but no dice.

Is anyone else having this problem? ‘Tis a puzzlement.

[EDIT: Okay, it looks like nearly everyone can see it but me. Shrug.]

Some more media attention in the Dashad Smith case

Per this article: the police are still looking for Erik McFadden, described as a person of interest in Dashad Smith‘s disappearance. He dropped out of sight shortly after Dashad was last seen, and hasn’t been seen since. He’s not a suspect, but the cops would like to question him.

I’m surprised and gratified Dashad got any media attention at all. He’s in three categories of marginalized people: black, poor and gay. (That’s right, I did say gay, not transgendered. Several sources I found out about Dashad specifically said he was not transgendered although he did like to dress as a woman from time to time. I’d love it if anyone who knew him could elaborate about this in the comments section.) Black missing people are largely ignored; black men most of all.