NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. — The Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA) has responded to the murder of Denali Berries Stuckey, a local transgender woman, on July 20.

Initial reports misgendered and dead-named and AFFA has been in communication with the North Charleston Police Department, advocating that the department correct its reports — which have now been corrected. Friends of Denali confirmed that she identified as transgender and used feminine pronouns.

AFFA, Charleston Pride, We Are Family, Charleston Area Transgender Support, Charleston Black Pride, SC Equality and other community leaders organized a vigil in Stuckey’s memory on July 22 at the Equality Hub space at 1801 Reynolds Ave.

The organization issued the following response from Executive Director Chase Glenn, who also identifies as transgender: “I am heartbroken and outraged by the news of yet another murder of one of our transgender community members. Denali is the third known black trans woman to have been murdered in South Carolina since 2018. While the greater community may be either unaware or disinterested in this news, it is important to understand the epidemic of violence against trans women of color and the crisis point at which we are now and have been for years.”

Recently, the Transgender Law Center and Southerners on New Ground released the Grapevine Report showing just how widespread violence against the transgender community is in the South. Fifty-eight percent of transgender women and femmes surveyed reported experiencing high levels of violence by strangers.

“In this moment, we are focused on our responsibility to honor and memorialize Denali as she chose to identify herself, while raising much-needed awareness among the general public about the violence perpetrated against the transgender community —  and more specifically trans women of color. We refuse to become numb. We will continue to say the names of these women and remember them how they would have wanted to be remembered,” AFFA stated.


Lainey Millen was formerly QNotes' associate editor, special assignments writer, N.C. and U.S./World News Notes columnist and production director from 2001-2019 when she retired.