35 transgender and nonbinary people who died by violence in 2023

Ashley Burton, Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, and Koko Da Doll
Ashley Burton, Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, and Koko Da Doll

Remembering the Trans and Nonbinary People Lost to Violence This Year

Ashley Burton, Manuel Esteban Paez Ter\u00e1n, and Koko Da Doll
Ashley Burton, Manuel Esteban Paez Ter\u00e1n, and Koko Da Doll

From left: Ashley Burton, Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, and Koko Da Doll

The epidemic of violence against transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people continues in the U.S. While the reported number of violent deaths among this population has gone down somewhat since 2021 set a record with 57, there are likely many more deaths that go unreported or inaccurately reported due to deadnaming and misgendering.

The violence of 2023 came as state legislatures introduced and passed an unprecedented number of anti-transgender bills that target trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people's health care, bathroom use, and participation in school sports.

Many of those killed are women of color, indicating an intersection of racism, transphobia, and sexism that contributes to the danger trans people face. Read on to learn about those we've lost so far this year, some of whom have been killed by authority figures.

Jasmine "Star" Mack

Jasmine "Star" Mack
Jasmine "Star" Mack

Black transgender woman Jasmine "Star" Mack, 36, was stabbed to death January 7 in Washington, D.C., the first reported violent death of a trans person in the U.S. in 2023. She found lying on a street "in an unconscious and unresponsive state with an apparent stab wound to their right leg," according to a police report. She had no fixed address at the time of her death. No arrest has been made.

Friends and family remember her fondly. "She loved everybody," her sister Pamela Witherspoon told TV station WUSA. "Most of all I'm going to miss her saying 'I love you sister, I love you.'"

Trans activist Earline Budd knew Mack as a client of HIPS, a social services organization. "She was really one for the books," Budd told WUSA. Mack was high-spirited and "would always keep you laughing," she said.

KC Johnson

KC Johnson
KC Johnson

KC Johnson of Wilmington, N.C., was last seen alive January 12 or 13, and police believe she was killed January 13. Her remains were found in April on the Savannah River in Georgia. Police have arrested William Hicks, 26, of South Carolina, and he is charged with first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, and kidnapping. Police say he met Johnson on social media.

Johnson was a native of Wilmington who attended Abide University and worked as manager of a Domino’s. Her partner, Bulla Brodzinski, described Johnson as the love of her life.

“I think any time we have someone from within the community — the LGBTQ community as a whole but especially the trans and nonbinary community — when they’re murdered it’s an immediate message to us that something is happening that we’re already familiar with," Caroline Morin, executive director of the LGBTQ Center of the Cape Fear Coast, told TV station WWAY. "So a big thing that kind of comes for us next is what’s going to happen as our community going to respond appropriately. Will some sense of justice happen in this instance, and then what do we do to keep moving forward for those of us who are left behind?”

Manuel Esteban Paez Terán

Manuel Esteban Paez Ter\u00e1n
Manuel Esteban Paez Ter\u00e1n

Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, a queer, nonbinary environmental activist, was shot to death by police in Atlanta January 18. Terán, 26, who went by the name “Tortuguita,” or “Little Turtle,” was part of a group of protesters encamped in a forested area to take a stand against a police training center under construction there.

Georgia authorities say Terán shot and wounded a Georgia State Patrol officer, who returned fire, killing the activist. But Terán’s mother, Belkis Terán, told The Guardian, “I’m convinced that [Terán] was assassinated in cold blood.” The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said the bullet taken from the officer’s body came from a gun possessed by Terán, but the activist’s family and fellow protesters are not convinced.

A report from the DeKalb County medical examiner, released in April, indicated Terán was shot at least 57 times and did not have gunshot residue on their hands. But prosecutors announced in October that no charges will be brought against the Georgia state troopers. The officers were acting in self-defense, Stone Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney George Christian said in a press release. Terán’s friends and family remain skeptical of this characterization of the police action and want an independent investigation.

Meanwhile, A grand jury convened by Republican Attorney General Christopher Carr has indicted 61 of Terán’s fellow protesters under Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, the same law cited in Fulton County’s indictments of Donald Trump and his associates regarding their efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the state. The environmental activists are accused of arson and domestic terrorism, among other charges.

Maria Jose Rivera Rivera

Maria Jose Rivera Rivera
Maria Jose Rivera Rivera

Latinx transgender woman Maria Jose Rivera Rivera was killed in January in Houston in an apparent murder-suicide by her intimate partner.

Her body was found January 21, but she may have been dead for up to three days, according to local media. Neighbors had reported an odor coming from Rivera’s apartment, and they saw that the mail had been piling up. The cause of death has not been released.

Rivera, 22, was an immigrant from El Salvador. Her immigration attorney, Cristian Sanchez at RAICES Texas, told the Human Rights Campaign that all evidence indicates that she was killed by her intimate partner.

“Maria Jose was a joy to work with,” he said in a statement to HRC. “I always looked forward to speaking with her. She was lively, funny, and dynamic. My heart hurts from her loss. Transgender people who are immigrants suffer two levels of oppression and marginalization from society. This makes them especially vulnerable to harm. The transgender immigrant community deserves respect and safety.”

Unique Banks

Unique Banks
Unique Banks

Unique Banks, a 21-year-old Latinx transgender woman, was fatally shot during a home invasion in Chicago January 23.

Banks’s mother, Alexsandra Olmo, was also killed in the invasion of the family’s apartment. Three other people — Olmo’s boyfriend and two trans women — were seriously wounded, a law enforcement source told the Chicago Sun-Times. The source added that there was no evidence of anti-trans motivation, although police said the attack was not random.

But Banks’s father, Omar Burgos, said many questions remain. “Nobody just goes to your house and just starts killing people,” Burgos, who lives in Orlando, told the Sun-Times. “Something happened, but what happened? I don’t know.”

He said he worried about Banks and her two siblings after he moved to Florida, where he is a mechanic for American Airlines, more than a decade ago. He had hoped she would come to Florida to live with him, he said, noting that his “heart is torn apart.”

The Chicago Police Department released a statement saying the department “is still investigating this incident and will provide additional information after speaking with people close to the victims, out of respect for the victims and their families.”

Zachee Imanitwitaho

Zachee Imanitwitaho
Zachee Imanitwitaho

Zachee Imanitwitaho, a 26-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot and killed just outside her workplace in Louisville, Ky., February 3.

Zachee had immigrated to the U.S. from Rwanda in 2019 and worked at the JBS meat-processing plant in Louisville. A coworker at the plant, Edilberto Lores-Reyes, 58, has been charged with her murder. Police say he turned himself in, but he has nonetheless pleaded not guiltyaa.

Police have not stated a motive for the crime, but another coworker, who did not give her name to local media, said she believes Zachee was killed because she was trans. She was well-liked by many of her colleagues. “She was always happy. Always walking down the hallways smiling,” the anonymous coworker said. “Even when she knew they were talking about her, she didn’t care. She was always happy.”

On a GoFundMe page raising money for funeral expenses, her family said, “We are heartbroken that her conviction to live her life as herself may have led to her death. Zachee was a light to those around her and we are memorializing her so that her light can live on after her death.”

Cashay Henderson

Cashay Henderson
Cashay Henderson

The body of Black transgender woman Cashay Henderson was found in a burning apartment building in Milwaukee February 26. She had been fatally shot before the fire was set.

Henderson was 31 years old and had lived in Milwaukee before recently returning to Chicago, where she was born. She attended Dunbar Vocational High School and Prologue Early College High School in Chicago, and she was later active with a Milwaukee organization called Sisters Helping Each Other Battle Adversity. She went by the name Gemini Shanti with SHEBA. The group tweeted a tribute to her, saying, “She was nothing less than a joy to be around.” Another Wisconsin organization, the Black Rose Initiative, tweeted that Henderson was “a great friend and great influencer in our community.”

Cordell M. Howze, 33, of Neenah, Wis., was charged a few days later with “first-degree reckless homicide and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but the court rejected that. His trial is scheduled for June 2024.

Howze had been in jail until two days before Henderson’s death. He was taken into custody in Winnebago County, Wis., January 28 “for violating terms of his extended supervision from a prior felony conviction,” according to the Journal Sentinel. He had fled from police the day before. He was released February 24. Winnebago County prosecutors filed charges February 27 in connection with his flight.

Ashley Burton

Ashley Burton
Ashley Burton

Black transgender woman Ashley Burton, a 37-year-old hairstylist and makeup artist in Atlanta, was shot to death at her apartment complex April 11. Burton’s body was found shortly after 4:30 a.m. in the breezeway of her building, according to local media.

“She ran out of the house, hollering and screaming, beating on doors,” her cousin Ivory Carter told Atlanta TV station WXIA. “This got to be personal. You shot her in her house, then you followed her outside and shot her.”

Burton and Carter grew up together in South Carolina. “She was a sweetheart,” Carter said. “She wasn’t nasty. She wasn’t disrespectful. She just wanted to live her life.”

Carter added, “I’m tired of all these incidents with transgender women just being pushed up under the rug. We are human beings.”

Patrick Burton, the victim’s brother, told Atlanta station WAGA that “Ashley was very loved all the way across the board, like from South Carolina to Atlanta.”

Darius Mills, 31, was arrested in June in connection with the crime. He faces charges of murder, armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Tasiyah “Siyah” Woodland

Tasiyah \u201cSiyah\u201d Woodland
Tasiyah \u201cSiyah\u201d Woodland

Tasiyah “Siyah” Woodland, an 18-year-old Black transgender woman, was found shot to death March 24 near a bar in Mechanicsville, Md.

Deputies from the St. Mary County Sheriff’s Office were called to the parking lot of the Big Dogs in Paradise bar in Mechanicsville due to a report that gunshots were fired. They found Woodland in a car nearby, dead after being shot several times.

St. Mary’s County sheriff’s deputies and District of Columbia detectives arrested Darryl Carlton Parks Jr., 29, in D.C. March 28. He faces charges including first-degree murder and second-degree murder. St. Mary’s County authorities said there was “some type of confrontation” before she was killed, but they don’t believe her gender identity was a factor in the crime. Her family contends, however, that she was the victim of a hate crime. A second suspect, Erin Nicole Battle, 29, was arrested in July. She has been charged with first-degree murder, use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and being an accessory after the fact.

Woodland, who lived in Lexington Park, Md., had attended Great Mills High School and was studying at the College of Southern Maryland. She worked at a Hollister clothing store.

“She had multiple social media profiles, but – heartbreakingly – set up what she described as her ‘new & last page’ two days before her death,” Sue Kerr reports at Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents. “She had hopes, ambitions, dreams. She celebrated her accomplishments and triumphs. All things she deserved, things ripped away from her by gun violence and the transphobia and misogynoir that permeates our society.”

Her family started a GoFundMe campaign to cover funeral expenses. The page describes Woodland as “high spirited and protective of those she loved.” After her mother’s death, Woodland “got the courage to start living in her truth and started her transition, which her family accepted with open arms,” the page notes.

Koko Da Doll

Koko Da Doll
Koko Da Doll

Koko Da Doll, one of the stars of the documentary Kokomo City, was found dead April 18 in Atlanta. She was 35.

Koko, whose non-performance name was Rasheeda Williams, starred in the Sundance Film Festival documentary Kokomo City along with Daniella Carter, Liyah Mitchell and Dominique Silve. The documentary depicts the lives of several Black transgender sex workers who live in Atlanta and New York City. It has been lauded for its realistic depiction of the various ways the women navigate their identities and their work.

Atlanta police found Koko with a gunshot wound around 11 p.m. at a shopping center. Authorities announced her dead at the scene.

“Rasheeda, aka Koko Da Doll, was the latest victim of violence against Black transgender women,” Kokomo City director D. Smith, who is also a Black transgender woman, wrote on Instagram. “It’s extremely difficult to process Koko’s passing, but as a team we are more encouraged now than ever to inspire the world with her story.”

Besides appearing in the film, Koko was a rapper.

"I will be the reason there's more opportunities and doors opening for transgender girls," Koko once wrote on Instagram. "What you've done here for me is going to save a lot of lives."

A 17-year-old male, whose name was not released, was arrested April 26 in connection with Koko's death. He turned himself in after Atlanta police issued a warrant for murder, aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

LaKendra Andrews

Black trans woman LaKendra Andrews, 26, was found on a Dallas street the morning of April 29, suffering from at least one gunshot wound, and she died shortly thereafter. Most reports at the time of her death misgendered her.

Andrews was a native of Shreveport, La., and moved with her family to Texas, according to Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents and Nu Trans Movement. She attended James Madison High School and Dallas College’s Eastfield Campus and was interested in baking, cooking, dance, drawing, and music. Andrews was reportedly a big fan of Nicki Minaj, and ran her own nonprofit.

The investigation into her killing remains open. Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to contact Dallas Police at (214) 671-3632 or email christopher.walton@dallascityhall.com. Please reference case No. 072504-2023. People can submit tips anonymously to Crime Stoppers at (214) 373-8477. There is a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in the case.

Banko Brown

Banko Brown
Banko Brown

Black transgender man Banko Brown, 24, was shot to death by a security guard April 27 near a Walgreens in San Francisco.

The guard, Michael Earl-Wayne Anthony, was arrested on suspicion of homicide, but San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins decided not to prosecute him on that charge. “The evidence clearly shows that the suspect believed he was in mortal danger and acted in self-defense,” said a statement from Jenkins, who has been widely criticized for her decision. Police said Brown was not armed. Jenkins has said the case remains under investigation and that other charges may be brought. Anthony did have to pay a $1,500 fine for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, in violation of California regulations governing security services.

Brown was experiencing homelessness and sometimes spent the night on Bay Area Rapid Transit trains. He was seeking housing while also trying to help others, working as a community organizing intern with the Young Women’s Freedom Center, which assists young women and trans youth who have experienced poverty and other difficulties.

“Banko was a loving person,” Julia Arroyo, co-executive director of the center, said at a rally on Brown’s behalf. “Every time Banko walked into the center, he was surrounded by small children and a gang of people around him. And even when he was turned away from doors, he still brought people to get resources.”

Brown’s parents, Kevinisha Henderson and Terry Brown, have filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Walgreens, security company Kingdom Protective Services; and Anthony. They seek at least $25 million in damages, according to John Burris, their attorney.

Ashia Davis

Ashia Davis
Ashia Davis

Black transgender woman Ashia Davis was found dead June 2 in a hotel room in Highland Park, Mich., a suburb of Detroit, and police are investigating her death as a homicide.

Davis was found at the Woodward Inn. The Michigan State Police have released surveillance video of a man walking and running in the hotel’s parking lot, and they say he may be a suspect. As of December, however, there had been no arrests.

Davis was well loved by her friends and family, local media report. “She’s my only child,” her mother, whose name was not provided, told the Detroit Fox affiliate. “She was just getting a job and went to school. I just don’t understand why this happened.”

Chanell Perez Ortiz

Chanell Perez Ortiz
Chanell Perez Ortiz

Afro-Latina transgender woman Chanell Perez Ortiz, 29, was shot to death June 25 in Carolina, Puerto Rico. Her body was found along a highway behind a university campus, local media report. She had multiple bullet wounds.

Perez Ortiz worked as a cosmetologist and was keenly interested in fashion, often posting quotes from the famed fashion designer Coco Chanel on social media. Her family and friends called her by the affectionate nickname Uvita.

Police are looking into the possibility that her death was a hate crime motivated by her gender identity, as her loved ones have urged them to do. The territory’s hate-crimes law covers bias crimes due to gender identity, but prosecutors rarely apply the law, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Jacob Williamson

Jacob Williamson
Jacob Williamson

Trans man Jacob Williamson, 18, was found dead July 4 along a road in Pageland, S.C. He had left his home in Laurens, S.C., the evening of June 30 for a date with a man he had met online, Joshua Newton of Monroe, N.C. But Williamson was killed at a house in Monroe and his body was dumped in Pageland. Newton has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder and obstruction of justice, and his girlfriend, Victoria Smith, is charged with obstruction of justice and being an accessory after the fact.

Longtime friend Promise Edwards had taken Williamson into her home a month and a half ago after he was rejected by some members of his family for being trans. “This world was so cruel to Jacob his entire life,” she told Charlotte, N.C., TV station WBTV. “I find peace in knowing that in the last month and a half, he found peace.”

Camdyn Rider

Camdyn Rider, 21, a pregnant transgender man, was shot to death July 21 by his partner, Riley John Groover, 26, who then shot and killed himself. The murder-suicide took place in front of witnesses near the couple’s home in Winter Haven, Fla. Rider was eight months pregnant, and his unborn child could not be saved.

“This was a violent and horrific double murder that ended the lives of a 21-year-old [person] who was eight months pregnant, and [his] unborn baby,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said, according to Florida TV station WTSP. “When the suspect became enraged, family members and neighbors did everything they could to help [Rider] get away from him. Please keep this family in your prayers.”

Groover’s mother, who shared their home, told local media her son used her gun to shoot Rider. She kept the gun for protection, she said. The couple were engaged to be married but had argued frequently, friends and family said. Some of the arguments resulted in physical violence but were not reported to police.

Rider had posted on social media that he was excited about becoming a father. He had many interests, including travel, camping, art, music, and “paranormal television shows” such as Supernatural, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents reports. “His social media [was] filled with humor, wit, and wry observations,” the site notes. However, his posts also referred to relationship problems and suicidal ideation among teens.

That site and others have pointed out the high rate of intimate partner violence faced by trans people. “There are so many red flags here, it takes real effort not to see them,” Sue Kerr writes at Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents. “Everyone in this scenario needed help — the murderer, his family, Camdyn’s family, and Camdyn.”

Jean Thomas Butchart

Jean Thomas Butchart, a 26-year-old Michigan transgender man, was shot to death in August in what police are calling a crime spree that included attacks on two other people.

Butchart was killed toward the end of his first day on a new job, according to MLive, a site for several Michigan newspapers. He was working at the Van Buren Estates Mobile Home Community in Van Buren Township, near Detroit. He had been pulling weeds and cleaning the grounds when, about 5 p.m. August 4, he was shot in the head by a stranger. He died at the scene. He was “one victim in a string of random, violent attacks by a suspect now awaiting trial for murder,” MLive reports.

The suspect is Matthew Torrey Tiggs Jr., 22, of Eastpointe, Mich. He is also accused of threatening a 45-year-old man, at whom he aimed a gun, July 28, and shooting and wounding a 47-year-old man August 6. These incidents took place in Van Buren Township as well. Tiggs was arrested after a standoff of two hours near the site of the August 6 attack. He is charged with second-degree murder and several other crimes.

Butchart is being remembered for his love of the outdoors, which earned him the nickname “Nature Boy,” his obituary notes. He had a degree in environmental studies and was continuing his education with the aim of becoming a teacher.

About a decade ago, he had volunteered with the Teen Peer Education Theater Troupe at the Corner Health Center in Ypsilanti, Mich. He progressed from “not believing he could do it to being one of our most consistent performers,” Craig VanKempen, a friend from that time, told MLive. VanKempen cried upon hearing of Butchart’s death, he said.

DéVonnie J'Rae Johnson

DéVonnie J’Rae Johnson, a Black trans woman who was experiencing homelessness, was fatally shot by a security guard at a Ralphs grocery store in Los Angeles August 7. She was in her late 20s. Police said she confronted the guard and was wielding a fire extinguisher and then a screwdriver, but members of her family say she was not the aggressor, and they are calling for further investigation. The guard has not been charged.

Johnson was an artist who had moved to Los Angeles from Tulsa, Okla., in 2020 to proceed with her transition. Her mother, Sirena Johnson, appeared on the Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles podcast to call attention to her daughter’s death and the issues surrounding it. The family has set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to bring Johnson’s body back to Tulsa for burial.

Luis Anel Diaz Castro

The decomposing body of trans man Luis Ánel Diaz Castro, 22, was found hidden in the closet of his former boyfriend, Domingo Rafael Aquino Ubri, August 11 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Diaz Castro had gone missing four days earlier, the day his ex was released from jail on a domestic violence charge. Diaz Castro was a student at the Universidad de Puerto Rico en Arecibo and worked for the Department of Education.

Police say that on August 11, Aquino Ubri used a gun to rob a local store. Police took him into custody, and that day Diaz Castro's mother went to the same police station to file a missing person report for her son. When she saw Aquino Ubri was being detained for the robbery, she alerted police that he had been her son’s partner and informed them of his criminal history.

Police confronted Aquino Ubri, who reportedly consented to a police search of his apartment. Investigators quickly discovered Diaz Castro's decomposing body hidden in the closet under a pile of clothes and a suitcase. Aquino Ubri remains in police custody.

Thomas "Tom-Tom" Robertson

Thomas “Tom-Tom” Robertson, 28, a Black gender-nonconforming person, was shot to death August 17 in Calumet City, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. A 25-year-old who was with Robertson was also shot and hospitalized. Robertson, a Chicago native, was a cook at an IHOP in nearby East Chicago, Ind. Some media outlets list their last name as Robinson.

Few other details are available about the crime, but it remains under investigation by Calumet City police and the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force. Anyone with information is asked to call (708) 868-2500.

Codii Lawrence

Trans man Dacoda “Codii” Lawrence of Steubenville, Ohio, died September 5 after being struck by a car as he was walking along a stretch of road in Weirton, W.Va. The driver is cooperating with the investigation, according to local media. However, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents notes that there are still some questions around Lawrence’s death, such as why he was walking on a road 40 miles from his home and whether or not he was alone.

Alexa Alex Andreevna Sokova

Alexa Alex Andreevna Sokova, a 30-year-old Russian-born model, was found dead September 8 in a wooded area in Palm Bay, Fla. She had been shot multiple times. She had been missing since August 30.

Her roommate, Robert Paul Lanning III, 28, was arrested while fleeing police in Alabama and is charged with first-degree murder, AL.com reports. His girlfriend, Rene Lemos, 41, has been charged with being an accessory after the fact to first-degree murder, and both are charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle. Sokova’s social media feeds use she/her pronouns, although a friend has said she had detransitioned, according to Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents.

Charm Wilson

Charm Wilson, a 32-year-old Black trans woman, was struck and killed by a car September 8 in Cleveland. The driver was taken into custody, but no further information was released, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents reports. Local media misgendered and deadnamed her.

Wilson graduated from Shaw High School in Cleveland and attended Cuyahoga Community College. She worked for the East Cleveland Board of Education and was an enthusiast of music, dance, and fashion. "You could always count on her to liven up the scene with a dance number or a spontaneous karaoke session," says an online obituary.

"She made a huge impact on everyone she encountered, the obit concludes. "We will continue to honor her legacy by living our lives to the fullest just as she always did."


YOKO, a 30-year-old Black nonbinary tattoo artist and DJ in New Orleans, was killed in a hit-and-run accident September 19. YOKO, whose name stood for “You Only Know One,” was hit by an SUV when driving a motor scooter and died at the scene.

The SUV driver kept on going, but police arrested Bryan Mitchell, 35, the following day as he and another person were changing a tire on the SUV along an interstate highway. He is charged with hit-and-run driving resulting in death and possession of a stolen vehicle.

YOKO is being remembered as a gifted artist and “an exceptional, joyful, absurdly talented, and extremely loving and gentle human,” as one friend told New Orleans TV station WVUE. They worked at a tattoo shop called Slangin Dat Ink.

“Their style is very unique. It’s one-of-a-kind, all-custom art,” shop owner Salvador Rodriguez told another TV station, WWL. The shop offered memorial tattoos in honor of YOKO, with proceeds going to the artist’s mother.

Sherlyn Marjorie

Sherlyn Marjorie, 35, a Latina trans woman and popular drag performer, was killed in Albuquerque, N.M., in September, and her former intimate partner has been charged with murder.

She was last seen alive September 16, and friends reported her missing September 24. Her body was found two days later in a drainage tunnel. She had been beaten to death, and her body wrapped in tape and plastic. Earlier, a search party had found her car abandoned at a gas station. The GPS on her car helped police find Jose Mendoza-Espinoza, 29, with whom she had been in a relationship, and they arrested him October 11. He is charged with murder and tampering with evidence. Mendoza-Espinosa, who is married, claimed Marjorie was trying to extort money from him and threatening to tell his wife about their affair, but there is no evidence corroborating this, local media report.

Marjorie’s loved ones are remembering her fondly. “I was still hopeful that they would find you alive cousin,” one wrote on social media. “It’s sad that it’s not like that. R.I.P. Sherlyn Marjorie. The best impersonator in Tijuana, my second Edith Marquez.” Marquez is a well-known Mexican actress and singer. Marjorie had lived in Tijuana, Mexico City, and California in addition to Albuquerque, according to Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents. She had given one last performance the night she vanished, the site reports.

A'nee Roberson

Black trans woman A’nee Roberson, 30, was killed in the early morning hours of October 4 in Washington, D.C. She was attacked and left in the street, where she was struck by a car. Shortly after police found her, she died at a local hospital.

Police say her death was caused by blunt force trauma, and they are investigating it as a homicide. They have determined the driver was not involved in the earlier attack, and they are still searching for the assailant.

Roberson, who sometimes used the name A'nee Johnson, is being remembered for her zest for life and the impact she had on the lives of others.

“You were a given light into so many people's lives a whole new experience and perspective and it’s unfortunate the events that occurred,” friend Oluwaferanni Olarinde posted to Facebook.

“I want them to remember her for her zeal, her passion, and her consistency,” Olarinde told local TV station WTTG. “How consistent she was with showing her face and making sure her energy was pure and lively.”

Chyna Long

Chyna Long, a Black trans womn, was found shot to death October 8 on a street in Milwaukee. Family members think she may have been targeted for being trans; she had often been harassed about her identity.

Family and friends who gathered for a vigil a few days later. aHer loved ones remembered her fondly. “She wasn’t apologetic about nothing,” April Gipson, her aunt, said at the vigil,. “This was who she was. And we accepted her, with all our hearts.”

Of whoever killed Long, Gipson said, “They left my baby there like trash.”

“As a father, I wish I would have asked more questions,” added her father, Jonathan Long. “I should have been close. Even though I know [she] knows I accepted [her] lifestyle, I feel like I could have done more.” He said he believes his daughter's death was an anti-trans hate crime.

Antonio Currin, 29, has been arrested in connection with her death. He is charged with one count of first-degree reckless homicide and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Dominic DuPree

Dominic DuPree, 25, a Black gender-nonconforming person, was shot to death October 13 while in a vehicle in Chicago.

DuPree, also known as Dominic Palace, was an entrepreneur who operated the businesses Private Protection Division LLC in nearby Gary, Ind., and Hondo IV Lawncare & Snow Removal LLC. There has been no arrest in the case.

“Dominic’s social media is filled with Chicago sports teams and athletes, political figures, Tyler Perry movies, and their favorite TV shows,” Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents notes.

Lisa Love

Black trans woman Lisa Love, 35, of Chicago, was shot and killed in the early hours of October 17 as she was leaving a friend’s home. She was shot in the chest and the back, according to local media.

A cousin, identified only as Donna, called her “an all-around good person who did not deserve this. A loving, caring, free-spirited person. Always smiling and laughing.”

Love's family believes she was targeted. They explained that people in the neighborhood knew she was transgender.

“A car just drove up, made a U-turn and [saw] my cousin,” Love's cousin added. “Approximately 30 seconds later, the car stopped and my cousin was shot.”

No suspect has been arrested.

London Price

London Price, 26, a Black trans woman, was fatally shot October 23 outside her home in northwest Miami-Dade County, Fla., in front of her grandmother. She was pistol-whipped before the shooting. She had been living in the home with a former boyfriend, her aunt Nedra Allen told local media.

Allen described her niece as “always beautiful and pretty,” adding, “She’ll give you the shirt off her back, and I think that’s kind of what put her in this situation to get her hurt.”

Anthony Quinn Peyton II, 25, was arrested a few days later and charged with second-degree murder. Relatives said Price had let Peyton move in because he was not getting along with his family and needed a place to stay.

Amiri Jean Reid

Transgender woman Amiri Jean Reid was fatally shot while driving around her home city of Toledo, Ohio, along with gender-nonconforming gay man Kejuan Richardson, both 21. They were shot in the head in the early evening of November 14 before crashing their vehicle. They were pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Toledo police classified the deaths as homicides and issued an arrest warrant for Jorenzo Phillips, 19. But he was found dead in Cincinnati November 23, Thanksgiving Day, of a gunshot wound that was apparently self-inflicted.. No information has been released regarding his motive.

Reid was known for her “ribald sense of humor,” Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents notes, and her love of wordplay. “She also shared experiences of transphobia in her social media feed,” according to the site.

Kejuan Richardson

Gender-nonconforming gay man Kejuan Richardson was shot to death while driving around his home city of Toledo, Ohio, in November, along with trans woman Amiri Jean Reid. Both were 21.

They were shot in the head in the early evening of November 14 before crashing their vehicle. They were pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Toledo police classified the deaths as homicides and issued an arrest warrant for Jorenzo Phillips, 19. But he was found dead in Cincinnati November 23, Thanksgiving Day, of a gunshot wound that was apparently self-inflicted. No information has been released regarding his motive.

Richardson, a Toledo native, worked for KFC and was a fan of Avengers movies and basketball.


Savannah Ryan Williams

Minneapolis trans woman Savannah Ryan Williams, 38, died November 29 of a gunshot to the head. Damarean Kaylon Bible, 25, has been charged with second-degree murder in her death. He told police he shot her after she performed oral sex on him. He said he had become “suspicious” and “had to do it,” according to police.

Friends are remembering Williams as someone who was “full of life” and benefited from the time she spent with a trans women’s support group, Tea Time, at the Aliveness Project in Minneapolis.

“She was full of life,” Luna Hernandez, who knew her from the group, told TV station KARE. “It’s very unfortunate that her life got taken away.”

“Losing her so tragically after her making so many great improvements in life was really sad,” noted Celeste Grignon-Juarez, another friend from the group. “Nobody deserves to die this way. But it’s not an uncommon way for trans women to die.”

The Aliveness Project released this statement: “The loss of yet another member of our trans community is a source of deep pain for all of us. Acts of discrimination, bigotry, and hatred have no place in our community.”

The Minnesota legislature’s Queer Legislative Caucus also released a statement: “We stand in collective grief and outrage at the senseless murder of Savannah Ryan Williams, a 38-year-old transgender woman brutally taken from our community. This heinous act of violence not only extinguishes a vibrant life but serves as a stark reminder of the dangers and discrimination faced by sex workers and transgender individuals, particularly BIPOC transgender women, and femmes. Transphobia has reached a crisis point, claiming lives with alarming frequency. It is imperative that we stand together, speak out, and actively challenge this dangerous ideology.

“Savannah’s death cannot be treated as an isolated incident. It is a consequence of a society that dehumanizes and marginalizes transgender people throughout their lives, even in the face of unspeakable loss. Black transgender women, at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities, are disproportionately targeted for violence and face an epidemic of hate crimes. Savannah Ryan Williams was more than just a statistic, her life mattered. We honor her memory by calling for justice and passing legislation to create a state where everyone, regardless of their identity or profession, can live with dignity and safety."

Amber Minor

Amber Minor, a 40-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot to death in Raytown, Mo., the morning of December 24.

Minor, who lived in nearby Kansas City, Mo., was found in a driveway about 8:35 a.m. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Raytown police are investigating but have yet to make an arrest.

Much local coverage misgendered and deadnamed Minor. However, Kansas City activists confirmed her trans identity.

“Amber was a resilient Black Trans woman who lived a life full of laughter,” the LGBTQ Commission of Kansas City wrote on X (formerly Twitter). On the same platform, Justice Horn, chair of the commission, described Minor as “a Black Trans woman full of love and life.” The commission is working with Transformations KC and other local trans groups to support the community, the posts said.

Meghan Riley Lewis

Trans woman Meghan Riley Lewis was shot and killed December 27 at her apartment complex in Bel Air, Md., near Baltimore.

A food delivery driver, Brian Delen, 47, has been charged with her murder. He also faces first-degree assault and firearms charges. Delen is being held without bond,.

Authorities say Delen was delivering food to Lewis’s apartment complex when he got into a verbal dispute with her. Eventually, the fight became physical and Delen pulled out a gun, then shot Lewis in the torso. Lewis died after being taken to a nearby hospital.

Delen "was standing there, pretty much surrendered to us, so officers placed him in custody and they recovered a firearm from his person — a loaded firearm," Bel Air Police Chief Charles Moore told local media.

Friends are remembering Lewis as an advocate, parent, and friend. She had two children.

Lewis’s friends told local CBS station WJZ that she “was a very open, loving, and sparkly individual.” She had founded a patient support group for trans people who came to her city for care.

"She opened her doors, her heart, everything for LGBT individuals and was one of the strongest advocates in supporting them," one friend told the station.