The last three years have been followed with record highs of transgender and non-binary violent deaths, with 2020 being the the worst recorded year in history for murders and violence of these often underreported hate crimes.
According to Human Rights Campaign (HRC), “2022 has already seen at least 32 transgender people fatally shot or killed by other violent means.” “We say “at least” because too often these stories go unreported — or misreported,” HRC added.
“In previous years, the majority of these people were Black and Latinx transgender women,” said HRC.
In 2021, HRC said there was an unprecedented number of violent fatal incidents against transgender and non-binary people — with the number of fatalities tracked being 50.
“These victims, like all of us, are loving partners, parents, family members, friends and community members,” said HRC. “They worked, went to school and attended houses of worship. They were real people — people who did not deserve to have their lives taken from them,” HRC stated.
Qnotes would like to honor the memory of our trans and non-binary brothers and sisters, as the death toll of these individuals, who have been violently murdered, has increased by 38 within the span of one year.
In Memory of Those We Have Lost
Angel Naira was found fatally shot at her home in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 11, 2021. Naira’s death was reportedly the 47th violent killing of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2021. With Naira’s death, HRC had already recorded five cases of fatal violence from Pennsylvania that year, previously reporting on Chyna Carillo, Jeffrey “JJ” Bright, Jasmine Cannady and Whispering Wind Bear Spirit.
Danyale Thompson, a 35-year-old Transgender female of color was killed in Memphis on November 13, 2021, marking the 48th violent killing of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2021. Regrettably, Thompson was misgendered in the initial news report at the time of her death.
Nikai David, a 33-year-old Black transgender woman, was a model and aspiring social media influencer who dreamed of opening her own clothing boutique. Nikai was killed in the early hours of Dec. 4, 2021, in Oakland, California. She had just celebrated her birthday a week before her death. According to a news report, police officers responded to a shooting on Castro Street in West Oakland where they found Nikai suffering from gunshot wounds. She died at the scene. Her death was likely the 50th violent killing of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2021.
Martina Caldera, according to her family, was “an amazing person, had the best personality, and called everyone on their birthdays.” A Latina transgender woman, she was found fatally shot in Houston, Texas on December 6, 2021. Caldera’s death was thought to be the 56th violent killing of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2021.
Za’niyah Williams was found dead on Dec. 20, 2021 after a hit and run car crash in Houston, Texas. Williams’ death was likely the 52nd violent killing of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2021.
Ke’Yahonna Stone, a 32-year-old Black transgender woman died on Tuesday, December 28, 2021, after having been taken off life support for an injury inflicted on her two days prior. Her death marks the 51st violent killing of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2021.
Nikki Turietta was found fatally shot in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Dec. 31, 2021. Her death was the 53rd recorded violent killing of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2021.
Amariey Lei, a 19-year Black transgender woman also known as Myara, was a dancer her entire life and graduated from Woodland Hills High School in Wilkinsburg, a borough bordering Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A beloved coach for the Lady Diamonds, a hip-hop and majorette dance team, she strived to instill positivity and confidence in other young dancers. Tragically, Amariey Lei’s “vibrant soul,” as her family described it, was senselessly taken away. Her death on January 1 in Wilkinsburg marks the first confirmed violent killing of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2022.
Duval Princess, 24, was just beginning to live as her authentic self at the time of her death January 3, 2022. She was a well-known hairstylist and active member of the LGBTQ+ community in Jacksonville, Florida, where she was killed. Family members, friends and clients remembered her on social media days after her passing, referring to her as being “so sweet and genuine.”
Matthew Angelo Spampinato, a 21-year-old white trans man, was a victim of a hit-and-run car crash in New Castle, Delaware, on Feb. 9, 2022. Spampinato worked as a barista at Starbucks and was described as bright and kind by employees. One coworker said, “He was always so selfless. He would always ask how everybody was doing even when he wasn’t having a good day himself.
Naomie Skinner, a 25-year-old Black transgender woman, was described by a friend as being a “very outstanding person.” Her sister said Naomie lived a “fabulous life.” Naomie was fatally shot by her boyfriend on February 12, 2022, near Detroit in Highland Park, Michigan.
Cypress Ramos, a 21-year-old trans woman and drag performer, loved her local LGBTQ+ community in Lubbock, Texas. She was found dead on Feb. 13, 2022.
Paloma Vazquez, 29, a Latina transgender woman living in Houston, Texas, was a member of the Organización Latina de Trans en Texas, an organization for Latina trans women based in Houston. She was fatally shot on February 22, 2022. On social media, the founder of the organization wrote, “Vuela alto Paloma y que no te alcance nunca más el odio de este mundo. Descansa en paz,” which translates to, “Fly high Paloma and may the hatred of this world never reach you again. Rest in peace.”
Tatiana Labelle, a 33-year-old Black transgender woman, was a Chicago native who was loved by her friends and family. She was a fan of Mariah Carey and Patti Labelle. On March 18, 2022, Labelle was found dead in Chicago. Although details are currently unclear, her death has been ruled a homicide and detectives are continuing to investigate.
Kathryn “Katie” Newhouse, a 19-year-old Asian-American neurodivergent transgender woman, was an Illinois native who had a passion for hiking, sightseeing and advocating for trans rights. On March 19, 2022, she was killed by her father in Georgia before he died by suicide using the same weapon.
Kenyatta ‘Kesha” Webster, a Black transgender woman, was found dead in Jackson, Mississippi on Saturday, March 26, 2022. She had just turned 24 in February. On April 1, more than a hundred people attended the balloon release honoring Webster. There, Webster’s mother passionately called for justice for her daughter’s death. “She had plenty of love. She didn’t deserve that.”
Miia Love Parker, a 25-year-old Black trans woman, was fatally shot in Chester, Pennsylvania on April 1, 2022. She was a bright light in many lives and was also a fan of the TV series “Pose.”
Ariyanna Mitchell, a 17-year-old Black transgender teen, was a junior at East End Academy in Newport News, Virginia and a member of the Triple E (Electra Eagles Elite) Dance Academy. Her family recalled that “She was truly unique, funny, and loved by everyone. There was never a dull moment when Ariyanna was around.” She was shot multiple times and died April 2, 2022 in Hampton, Virginia, while attempting to protect a friend and diffuse an argument.
Fern Feather, who used both she/hers and they/them pronouns, was kind and free-spirited. The 29-year-old trans woman was known to bring joy to everyone around. Her friends remember her making others feel valued wherever she went. Fern Feather was killed in Morristown, Vermont on April 12, 2022
Ray Muscat, a 24-year old white trans man who worked at a grocery store was described by coworkers as a “kind soul who had a glowing smile.” On May 8, 2022, Muscat was shot and killed by his girlfriend in Independence Township, Michigan. According to police reporters, Muscat’s girlfriend also killed her brother and her body was found the next day; she died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Sasha Mason, a 45-year-old Latina transgender woman, was part of a large, loving family. She was a beloved family member and friend to many. On May 13, 2022, Sasha was shot and killed in Zebulon, North Carolina. Sasha’s death suspected to be the 16th violent killing of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2022. Sasha’s friends and family have shared on social media that she will be remembered as a sweet, kind and generous person with a beautiful smile who cherished her friends and family.
Nedra Sequence Morris, a 50-year-old Black transgender woman, was “strong, feisty, opinionated” and loved talking to her many friends on the phone. On May 14, 2022, Morris was fatally shot in Opa-locka, Florida. More than 100 people held a vigil at an intersection where Morris’ body was found. A cousin spoke at the memorial, stating “We pray, that God speaks to us, we don’t go out with a vengeance, that we know justice will be served.”
Maddie Hofmann, a 47-year-old trans woman born in Korea and raised in the U.S. by their adoptive family, was killed by police in Malvern, Pennsylvania on May 19, 2022. According to a GoFundMe organized by a family friend, Maddie was one of six siblings. They had a deep bond with their younger sister, Emily, who was also adopted from Korea.
Chanelika Y’Ella Dior Hemingway was known for a smile as bright as her future according to news reports. She was born and raised in Guilderland, New York and was close with her mom, cousins and her niece, according to PGH Lesbian Correspondents. She graduated from Albany High School and studied at Hudson Valley Community College. She turned 30 at the beginning of May. She has just graduated from the University of Albany with a bachelor’s degree where she was the recipient of a 2022 Spellman Academic Achievement Award before she was murdered in Albany on May 31, 2022.
Brazil Johnson, 28, a Black trans woman, was a passionate LGBTQ+ activist, a beloved daughter and a talented chef. In an interview with CBS58 News, the mother of Brazil Johnson, Bernita Gildart, said her daughter was a passionate chef and that the kitchen was like a haven for her. Johnson was killed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 15, 2022.
Shawmaynè Giselle Marie, a 27-year-old Black transgender woman, was born and raised in Gulfport and attended Gulfport High School. She worked as a personal care assistant and as a certified nursing assistant for almost four years. She was shot and killed in Gulfport, Mississippi on June 21, 2022. On social media, her family and friends remembered her as a “loving, funny, kind and genuine person.”
Kitty Monroe, age unknown, a Black trans woman, was a beloved friend and loving mom to her four small dogs named Chyna, Milan, Tokyo and London whom she posted countless photos of on social media. She was killed outside Memphis in Cordova, Tennessee, on June 29, 2022.
Cherry Bush lived in the Sylmar neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, where she was experiencing homelessness. At 48-years-old, Bush was shot and killed on July 5, 2022. On social media, her brother called her his “oldest friend.”
Martasia Richmond was a Black transgender woman killed in Chicago on July 11, 2022 and pronounced dead early on the morning of July 12, 2022. On social media, numerous tributes poured in for Richmond, confirming how much she was loved. Of her passing, HRC’s Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative Tori Cooper said, “At 30 years old, she should have decades ahead of her to spend with those she loved. Her death was not only unjust but part of an alarming trend of anti-transgender violence in Chicago and in this country at-large.”
Keshia Chanel Geter, a 26-year-old Black transgender woman, was traveling with a friend when she was fatally shot in Augusta, Georgia on July 20, 2022, outside a motel. Initial reports from local media misgendered Keshia. “Keshia Chanel Geter lived her truth as a Black transgender woman, said Tori Cooper, HRC’s Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. “She should still be alive today to embrace those she loved and continue living a bright and full life.”
Kandii Reed, who also went by Kamila Marie Swann and Dee Dee, was killed in Kansas City on July 24, 2022. Information on her personal life is scarce, although we know enough to say that the 29-year-old Black trans woman was a model and a performer who was doubtlessly loved and appreciated by those closest to her.
Hayden Davis’ interests were wide-ranging, from fashion and the Kardashians to skincare and makeup. Her smile was bright and she had an active presence on social media. The 28-year-old Black trans woman was shot and killed in Detroit on July 25, 2022.
Marisela Castro was planning a birthday party celebration with friends and family. Tragically, on July 29, the eve of her birthday, Marisela was shot and killed in the North Shore neighborhood in Houston, Texas. According to her friend Jorge Luis Lizardo, who spoke to the Houston Chronicle, she was a “bright and sunny person who had never made enemies.”
Acey Morrison, a 30-year-old Two-Spirit person, was a ”kind hearted, down to earth, joyous, respectful, and loving soul” who was a “helpful and giving person who was always there for her family and friends.” She was shot dead in Rapid City, South Dakota on August 21.
Dede Ricks, a 33-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot and killed in Detroit on August 27, 2022. Just before 3:40 a.m., Dede was found dead in her home in Detroit with gunshot wounds. A suspect has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office.
Mya Allen, also known as Regina Allen, was a 35-year-old Black transgender woman who was full of joy and laughter. Mya was active on social media, often posting selfies of her beautiful outfits and makeup. She was also a member of Sisters Helping Each Other Battle Adversity (SHEBA), a local advocacy, empowerment and support group for Black transgender women. Mya was killed on August 29 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Semaj Billingslea, a 33-year-old trans man, graduated from Florida Youth Academy before attending Florida State College at Jacksonville. He was a fan of Megan Thee Stallion and cared deeply about his friends. On September 21, Billingslea was killed in Jacksonville, Florida.
Tiffany Banks, a 25-year-old Black trans woman, has been remembered by family and friends as a “sociable and beautiful butterfly.” Killed in Miami on October 1, her death is the fourth known killing of a Black transgender person in Florida in 2022.