Honoring Trans Lives Taken in 2017

Every day, transgender people live through an epidemic of anti-transgender violence in the United States. While the murder rate for the general U.S. population is 1 in 19,000 murdered every year, the rate is 1 in 2,600 for young black trans women, according to Mic’s project “Unerased: Counting Transgender Lives.”

According to LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD, 23 transgender people, mostly transgender women of color, were killed in 2017 in the United States. Here are their names.

Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow, 28

Wounded Arrow, a member of the Sioux tribe, was the first recorded killing of a transgender women in South Dakota. She was killed on New Year’s Day and was found days later in her home.

Mesha Caldwell, 41

Caldwell, a beautician and hairstylist, was found dead on the side of the road in January in Canton, Mississippi.

Jojo Striker, 23

Striker was found dead in an empty garage in Toledo, Ohio.

Keke Collier, 24

Collier was found dead in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood. She also went by the name Tiara Richmond.

Chyna Dupree, 31

Dupree was a popular drag performer in Louisiana who was killed while visiting her family for Mardi Gras.

Ciara McElveen, 21

McElveen was the second trans woman of color killed in New Orleans in the span of two days.

Jaquarrius Holland, 18

Holland was killed on February 19. Her death was not reported until February 28 because she was initially misgendered.

Alphonza Watson, 38

Watson was found dead after being shot in the stomach.

Chay Reed, 28

Reed, according to local reports, was a fan of fashion, cosmetology and spoken word poetry. Her attacker fled the scene after shooting her.

Kenneth/Brenda Bostick, 59

Conflicting reports exist on Bostick’s gender identity. They were attacked in New York City and died nine days later in the hospital.

Photo by Flickr/ Ted Eytan

Sherrell Faulkner, 46

Faulkner was found behind a dumpster after she was attacked. She eventually died from injuries sustained during the attack a few months later.

Kenne McFadden, 27

Police originally misgendered McFadden and counted her death as a drowning until later classifying it as a homicide. McFadden loved to sing and posted several videos on her Facebook page singing along to Katy Perry and Christina Aguilera.

Josie Berrios, 28

Berrios was known in the local Ithaca community by her drag name, Kimbella Rosé. She performed as part of the House of Merlot, a wine-themed drag house. Her body was found, burned, at a construction site.

Ava Le’Ray Barrin, 17

Barrin was shot during an altercation. Family and friends gathered where she was shot the next day to hold a vigil in her memory.

Ebony Morgan, 28

Morgan was originally identified by her gender assigned at birth after she was killed. In response, the Lynchburg Transgender Alliance offered scholarships to local trans people who needed help legally changing their name.

TeeTee Dangerfield, 32

Dangerfield was fatally shot in Georgia.

Gwynevere River Song, 26

Song graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015. She identified as femandrogyne and bisexual.

Kiwi Herring, 30

Herring’s funeral made national news when 59-year-old Mark Colao drove his car through the vigil for her death.

Kashmire Redd, 28

Redd, a transgender man, was killed by his partner, Doris Carrasquillo, in a domestic dispute.

Derricka Banner, 26

Banner’s death occurred just prior to North Carolina’s Trans Pride 2017 event. Organizers honored Banner as part of the event.

Ally Lee Steinfeld, 17

Steinfeld’s death garnered national headlines for its gruesome nature, though the media did not initially identify her as trans. Social media posts on her Instagram, however, indicated that before her death she identified as a transgender woman.

Stephanie Montez, 47

Montez was shot in the chest and abdomen. After her death, trans activists organized a trans rights rally outside the Corpus Christie courthouse.

Candace Towns, 30

Towns, who was fatally shot, was reported missing a few days prior to authorities finding her body.


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