Four young trans women killed in “senseless” murders nationwide

LGBTQ Entertainment News

Four young trans women across America have been murdered since April 29. They are the 11th through 14th known trans women to die from violence this year.

On April 19, Starr Brown — a 28-year-old Black trans woman in Memphis, Tennessee — was found dead inside of a crashed car in a local neighborhood. A 20-year-old named Alexavier Williamson reportedly confessed to shooting her in her side, after leaving his restaurant workplace with her seven hours earlier. He has been charged with second-degree homicide.

Brown was reportedly a restaurant worker and adult content creator with a large social media following. She had also been shot earlier this ear while witnessing an armed robbery in October.

Kita Bee “was an all-around entertainer…”

Around 9:20 p.m. on May 3, Kita Bee — a 46-year-old Black trans woman in Kansas City, Missouri — was killed in a hit-and-run by two vehicles; her loved ones suspect someone may have pushed her into the road, The Kansas City Star reported. Police have identified one of the drivers, but charges are pending.

Bee had only recently found stable housing and had been involved in another hit-and-run accidentally earlier this year, according to Kris Wade, executive director of the Justice Project, an organization that helps re-shelter women who have experienced violence. Kita used to teach other trans women how to survive and stay safe on the streets, according to KC Transformations, a local trans advocacy group.

Bee’s sister, Raynisha, called Bee “very bold in her personality,” according to one source, adding, “She was an all-around entertainer. She loved to sing, dance, perform to make you happy, smile, or laugh.” Wade said of Bee, “She was in her full authentic persona all the time, and that takes guts when you’re a trans person. Especially a trans woman of color.”

KC Transformations raised money for Bee’s memorial service. Her cremated remains will be spread into the ocean.

In the early morning hours of May 6, Jazlynn Johnson — an 18-year-old in Las Vegas, Nevada — was allegedly shot by 17-year-old Cesar Sandoval. Sandoval called his parents at 3 a.m. and said he accidentally shot his friend. He begged his parents not to tell the police, but they did. He told police he didn’t know where the gun was. Police have charged him with murder with the use of a deadly weapon and destroying or concealing evidence.

“Jazlynn’s murder is the latest in a pattern of senseless deaths among transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming youth across America who face rampant harassment and violence simply because of who they are,” GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said in a statement.

“The hostile climate of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and proposed legislation has a real-world impact on LGBTQ lives,” Ellis added. “All of us who believe in love and kindness have an obligation to speak out to support every young person’s right to live freely as themselves, in safety, peace, and acceptance.”

Around 3:30 a.m. on May 7, Tay Dior — a 17-year-old trans girl in Mobile, Alabama — was killed by an assailant who has not yet been identified in the press.

Last year, leading up to the Trans Day of Remembrance, the National Center for Transgender Equality launched Trans Remembrance, a website memorializing the 109 estimated trans and non-binary people who had reportedly died over the last year.

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