A Memorial To The Transgender Murder Victims Of 2016
In 2016, 27 transgender and gender-fluid people were murdered, making it the deadliest year recorded for the transgender community. The men, women, and non-binary people we lost last year were loving, special people, and several of them were unfortunately misgendered and referred to as their deadname in articles, making them harder to identify. We keep these 27 people in our hearts.
Monica Loera (43)
Monica Loera, a 43 year old Latina transgender woman of Austin, Texas, was the first victim in what is known as the deadliest years for trans citizens after being killed on January 22, 2016. She was described as “funny,” and “beautiful,” by friends, saying she “loved Madonna and loved to cook.” (hrc.org)
Jasmine Sierra (52)
Jasmine Sierra, a 52 year old transgender woman was killed on January 22, 2016 in her apartment in Bakersfield, California. A friend commented on her tribute page on the Bakersfield Green Cemetery website, “Jasmine you were a lovely and generous friend who I will greatly miss. Thank you for all the memories.” (planttransgender.com).
Maya Young (25)
Maya Young, a 25 year old black transgender woman was on February 20, 2016. According to a former roommate and close friend, she was funny and outgoing, and “loved people and she loved being around people...she was a dreamer.” She was affectionately called a “Twix” due to her unique birthmark: half of her face was a lighter shade of brown than the other, reminding her friends of chocolate and caramel. (philly.com).
Demarkis Stansberry (30)
30-year-old transgender man Demarkis Stansberry was murdered on February 27, 2016 in his apartment in Baton Rouge, LA. A former Advocate.com corresponder tweeted after his death, “#DemarkisStansberry So easy to just remember his murder. He was more. He was a man who worked 2 jobs, loved his fiancee, his dog, & rapping.” (advocate.com).
Kedarie/Kandicee Johnson (16)
Kedarie or Kandicee Johnson, a 16-year-old gender-fluid teen was murdered on March 2, 2016 on their hometown of South Hills, in Burlington, Iowa. According to their obituary, Johnson loved “singing, listening to music, hanging out with friends, and surfing the internet,” as well as being an “avid dancer” and a “burgeoning stylist who adored fashioning their hair in colorful coiffures.” (advocate.com).
Quartney Davia Dawsonn-Yochum (32)
Quartney, a 32-year-old transgender woman was killed on March 23, 2016 in front of her Los Angeles complex while walking her dogs. "She was just so cute. She would always strike a pose when she said hello," said neighbor Buchanan. "She really went out of her way to keep to herself. Not everybody understood her, and she knew that could be trouble. But those who got to know her, she was such a good person." (latimes.com).
Shante Thompson (34)
On April 10, 2016, 34-year-old transgender woman Shante Thompson was walking with her male friend Willie Sims in Houston, Texas when they were attacked and murdered.
Keyonna Blakeney (22)
Keyonna Blakeney, a 22-year-old transgender woman was found dead in hotel room in Rockville, Maryland, on April 16, 2016. “My [daughter] was, is, very special. [She] was kindhearted. [She] was down-to-earth. [She] would give you [her] last if [she] had it.” Blakeney’s father told The Washington post. (washingtonpost.com). Blakeney also took GED classes at Prince George’s Community College.
Reecey Walker (32)
Reecey Walker, a 32-year-old transgender woman was murdered in her hometown of Wichita, Kansas, on May 1, 2016. “[She] wanted to get a degree in psychology or social work to try to become a counselor to help other people try to get through some of the same struggles [she] had been through," said a close friend, Victoria. “A GoFundMe page allegedly set up by friends to help Walker's family with funeral costs recalls that [Reecey], 'like the candy,' as she introduced herself, was a loving, playful spirit who only wanted the best for others. She would have given her last piece of bread to make sure someone else was not hungry.’” (advocate.com).
Mercedes Successful (32)
32-year-old transgender woman and popular entertainer in the LGBT community in Haines City, Florida, Mercedes Successful, was murdered on May 15, 2016. Successful had represented her home country, Jamaica, in the 2015 Gay Caribbean USA pageant. She is remembered as “[s]uch a beautiful person inside and out...one of the funniest and one of the kindest people I have ever met.” (dailykos.com).
Amos Beede (38)
On May 28, 2016, transgender man Amos Beede was murdered in the homeless encampment where he lived in Burlington, Vermont.
Goddess Diamond (20)
On June 5, 2016, a black transgender woman was murdered in New Orleans. Due to her chosen first name going unknown, people have begun to call her “Goddess”. Diamond’s mother called her “kind and loving,” and said that she “had a big heart.” “In addition to losing a friend, we lost an LGBT leader,” said Walmart coworker George Melichar. (advocate.com).
Deeniquia Dodds (22)
Deeniquia Dodds, a 22-year-old transgender woman was in the early morning of July 4, 2016 only a few blocks from her Washington, DC home. Dodds’ aunt said that she was a “beautiful person,” who “loved to make you laugh. Loved to make you smile.” (advocate.com).
Dee Whigham (25)
25-year-old transgender nurse Dee Whigham was found murdered in a hotel room in Biloxi, Mississippi on July 23, 2016. "She will be remembered at Forrest Health as an excellent nurse who was well-loved by her patients," said the CEO of the hospital where Whigham worked. "I know Dee will be missed by her co-workers, supervisors, and the Forrest Health family." "[She] was a hard-working, kind-hearted person who was just starting [her] life who did not deserve this," said Whigham’s cousin. (advocate.com).
Erykah Tijerina (36)
On August 8, 2016, 36-year-old transgender woman Erykah Tijerina was found in her apartment in El Paso, Texas. According to her sisters, Tijerina was "funny, giving and unapologetic...She's the one that told me to stay strong and not care," they said. (mic.com).
Rae’Lynn Thomas (28)
On August 10, 2016, Rae’Lynn Thomas, a 28-year-old transgender woman was murdered by her mother’s ex boyfriend in their Columbus, Ohio home. Her aunt, Shannon Thomas says “she will remember her niece as a performer, a fashionista, and the life of the party. ‘[Byrd] took a light away from all of us.’” (advocate.com).
T.T. Saffore (26 or 27)
TT Saffore, a 26 or 27-year-old transgender woman was found murdered in Garfield Park in Chicago on September 11, 2016. A member of her local trans community where she was well known and loved said that, “You could be going through a bad day, but once you saw [T.T.], she was such a happy, cheerful person, all that changed.” (advocate.com).
Crystal Edmonds (32)
On September 16, 2016, Crystal Edmonds, a 32-year-old transgender woman was found bleeding on the streets of her hometown, Baltimore, Maryland. She was transported to a hospital, where she later died.
Jazz Alford (30)
30-year-old transgender ewoman Jazz Alford was killed on September 23, 2016 in her hotel room in Birmingham, Alabama. “Her death was a huge hit to the LGBTQ community,” said her sister, Toya Milan, also transgender, who described Alford as a “loving person.” (mic.com).
Brandi Bledsoe (32)
On October 8, 2016, 32-year-old transgender woman Brandi Bledsoe was found murdered in East Cleveland, Ohio, only a month after coming out to and being warmly accepted by her grandfather. Her aunt fondly remember how much Brandi loved art. “Growing up as a homeschooled child with developmental disabilities, Brandi’s outlet was always her artwork, anime and drawings as flamboyant as she was, vivid and full of life. ‘She liked drawing ladies,’ her aunt recalled. ‘Colorful, strong women that she would draw.’ Whether Brandon or Brandi, she was warm, like the sun, and everyone who knew her revolved in her orbit, like planets seeking her heat.” (telesurtv.net).
Noony Norwood (30)
Only five days after her thirtieth birthday, transgender woman Noony Norwood was shot in Richmond, Virginia on November 5, 2016, dying in a hospital the next day. Friends of Norwood fondly remember her as vibrant. “Noony’s energy always brightened the room. She cared about her community and always lifted up and supported her friends and family.” Her self proclaimed aunt called Norwood a “beautiful person who would give you anything, would help anybody without even a second thought.” (advocate.com).
Kayden Clarke (24)
On February 4, 2016, 24-year-old transgender man Kayden Clarke was murdered in his own home in Mesa, Arizona, shortly after excitedly sharing the news that his insurance will cover 100 percent of the costs of his gender reassignment surgery. “I’ve got some awesome, awesome news. So my insurance fully pays 100 percent of my gender reassignment surgery. I’m so happy. I’m excited. I’m ecstatic,” Kayden exclaimed in a video on his youtube channel shortly before his death. “Friends describe Clarke as unusually gifted in the training of animals. While she too misgendered him, his mother told the New York Daily News that Clarke was a generous person who donated Christmas trees to persons in-need despite being on a fixed income.” (advocate.com).
Nino Acox Jackson (26)
26-year-old transgender man Nino Acox Jackson was found dead in his hometown of Dallas, Texas on February 16, 2016, after having been missing January 19, 2016. “In posts and messages on Facebook (many of which have since been marked private), friends praised Jackson for his advocacy for trans equality, his supportive demeanor, and his handiness in working on cars.
Jackson’s Facebook page features colorful pictures that highlight his passion for fast cars and Japanese anime.” (advocate.com).
Veronica Banks Cano (mid-30’s)
Veronica Banks Cano, a transgender woman in her mid-30’s, was found dead in a hotel room in San Antonio, Texas, on February 19, 2016. “What can I say . . . you were true to yourself, never a dull moment . . . Putting on your makeup and modeling your outfits. That’s how I’ll remember you,” wrote a friend in a tribute on facebook. (outsina.com).
Sierra/Simon Bush (18)
Sierra/Simon Bush, an 18-year-old gender-fluid student, was found on October 22, 2016, near Idaho City, Idaho. They were a student at Boise State University, and At a memorial vigil at the university, friends described the teen as having both masculine and feminine sides and being “brave, funny, brilliant, energetic, accepting, pun-prone.” (advocate.com).
Lexxi T Seronin (43)
The body of Lexxi T Seronin, a 43-year-old transgender woman, was identified on September 6, 2016, in Waterville, Maine. “She’d do anything for anybody,” Chelsea Letourneau, a longtime friend of Seronin said, “She had a good heart in her. And people played on it. She was never out to hurt anybody.” (advocate.com).
India Monroe (29)
On December 21, 29-year-old transgender woman India Monroe was found dead in her home in Newport News, Virginia, making her the 27th and final trans murder victim in 2016, the deadliest year for the transgender community. She was buried under her deadname and groomed as a man. “I know for a fact Monroe would not want to be buried that way,” A friend that knew Monroe before her transition, said. “She’d want to have her nails done, hair done, looking amazing, because that’s what she liked.”