Remembering transgender people killed in 2022
We list here 47 transgender victims of violence documented in the United States in 2022. It is very likely that many more have happened that are not reported to organizations to become part of a list such as this. Many news stories of anti-transgender violence use “dead names” — the names given at birth no longer used by the victims — making it difficult to glean whether an act of violence was transgender-related.
Worldwide, Trans Lives Matter has documented 367 reports of anti-transgender murders in 2022. They recorded 105 reports in Brazil, 42 in Mexico, and 29 in Colombia.
While the details of these cases differ, it is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color — particularly Black transgender women — and that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, and unchecked access to guns conspire to deprive them of employment, housing, healthcare, and other necessities.
Aaron Lynch, a 26-year-old trans man, was shot and killed by police in McLean, Virginia on July 7, 2022. Aaron, who was experiencing a mental health crisis, was first unsuccessfully tased by police after some back-and-forth discourse, resulting in one of the police officers shooting him four times. Police officers had originally responded to a 911 call to Aaron’s house with a trained mental health co-respondent and returned a second time without one after not initially finding Aaron on the premises.
Acey Morrison, a 30-year-old Two-Spirit person, was a ”kindhearted, 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. Two-Spirit people are indigenous North Americans who possess both a feminine and masculine spirit.
Amariey Lej, she/her/hers
A young Black transgender woman, Amariey Lei graduated from Woodland Hills High School in Wilkinsburg, a borough bordering Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was a dancer and beloved coach for the Lady Diamonds, a hip-hop and majorette dance team.
Ariyanna Mitchell, a 17-year-old Black trans girl, is recalled by her family as “truly unique, funny, and loved by everyone. Ariyanna Mitchell was shot and killed April 2 in Hampton, Virginia after intervening in a fight during a house party. The suspect in her death, Jimmy Leshawn Williams, allegedly shot Ariyanna during an argument her friend and his girlfriend.
Asher Garcia, age 14 of Frazee, Minn. died by suicide April 21. The high school eighth-grade student was reportedly dealing with past abuse and a transgender identity that made him a target of bullying.
Brazil Johnson, a Black trans woman, was a passionate LGBTQ+ activist, a beloved daughter, and a talented chef. In an interview with CBS58 News, Brazil’s mother, 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.
Brent Wood‘s body was found on March 3 near dumpsters behind a Seattle, Wash. drugstore. They identified as nonbinary and had died from multiple blunt force trauma to the head.
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 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.
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. On social media, her brother called her his “oldest friend.”
Cypress Ramos, a 21-year-old Latina trans woman, loved her local LGBTQ+ community in Lubbock, Texas. She was tragically found dead on Feb. 13.
Dede Ricks, a 33-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot and killed in Detroit on August 27th. 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 and felony firearm, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s office.
DeeDee Hall, 47 of Dallas, Texas, died in custody soon after she was found walking around a parking lot in sweltering heat. A local business had called the police, stating that she was causing a disturbance. After police restrained her and put her in a spit hood during an altercation, she died in an ambulance en route to the hospital, despite paramedics’ attempts to save her.
Destinee Lashaee/Matthew Ventress, 29 of Houston, Texas, appears to have taken their own life after battling depression. At the time they died, they were presenting as male and dealing with issues from trying to lose weight and from a lawsuit with the producers of the reality show “My 600-Lb. Life.”
Duval Princess, 24, was just beginning to live as her authentic self at the time of her death. 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.”
Elise Malary, 31, of Evanston, Illinois. Elise’s body was found washed up on the shore of Lake Michigan on March 17th after being missing from March 9th. Elise was known for her social advocacy for the LGBTQ population, people of color, and transgender people of color and was a board member of the Chicago Therapy Collective
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 stabbed and killed in Morristown, Vermont on April 12.
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.
Kai Khan, 18, of Great Bend, Kansas, died by suicide in the dorm of his college on March 27. Kai was studying to be an MLT but also wanted to be a nurse. He was apparently scared of how people would treat him for being trans, or that people would refuse his care.
Kandii Redd, 29, who also went by Kamila Marie Swann and Dee Dee, was stabbed after an altercation in Kansas City on July 24. She died on the scene. In 2014, she was honored as the “Black Tgirls Model of the Year” at the Transgender Erotica Awards.
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, she was killed by her father in a murder-suicide in Cherokee County, Georgia.
Kenna Leigh Gillock, 26, of Gold Hill, Oregon died by suicide Apr 17. The exact circumstances of his death are not known.
Kenyatta ‘Kesha” Webster, a Black transgender woman, was found dead in Jackson, Mississippi on March 26 after what is being described as a “robbery homicide.” She had just turned 24 years old 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.”
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 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.”
Kitty Monroe, 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 shot multiple times in her home after a domestic dispute outside Memphis in Cordova, Tennessee, on June 29.
Maddie Dickens, 28, of Roseville, Minn. died of an apparent suicide on May 20. Her obituary said, “She was a brilliant physicist, gifted musician, a caring sister and daughter, and a passionate advocate for the vulnerable. She was sweet, kind, smart, funny, passionate, disciplined, determined, brave, and stubborn.”
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 during a wellbeing check at her home in Malvern, Pennsylvania on May 19. According to a GoFundMe organized by a family friend, Maddie was one of six siblings with a deep bond with their younger sister, Emily, who was also adopted from Korea. Hoffman is survived by a wife and two young children.
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 Northshore neighborhood of Houston, Texas. According to her friend Jorge Luis Lizardo, she was a “bright” and “sunny” person who had never made enemies.
Martasia Richmond, a Black transgender woman, was killed in Chicago on July 11. She was found with multiple stab wounds in a residence by police after they responded to a call about a domestic incident. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Police eventually charged a man who had allegedly been in a 5-year relationship with Martasia. He is a father of four.
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. Police told the family Matthew was walking in the grass well away from traffic when he was hit. 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.”
Miia Love Parker, a 25-year-old Black trans woman, was fatally shot in Chester, Pennsylvania while she sat in her car on April 1, 2022. She was was a bright light in many lives and was also a fan of Pose.
Milo Winslow, 30, of Lincoln, Nebraska, died by suicide. His final social media posts show a man in great pain over the political “debate” taking place about the rights of trans people to exist in his city. “When [a] petition garnered over 18k votes in just two weeks, the despair from Milo and our trans community was palpable. To know that so many people here in our community cannot respect an individual’s right to exist, much less their safety, housing, etc., was so painful to Milo.”
Mya Allen, who was 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, a local advocacy, empowerment, and support group for Black transgender women. Mya was killed on August 29 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She died from gunshot wounds. Before she died she was able to tell police in a 911 call where she met her killer and what kind of vehicle he drove.
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 near Detroit in Highland Park, Michigan.
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.”
Paloma Vazquez, 29, of Houston, Texas, was found dead with gunshot wounds in her apartment on the evening of Saturday 26th February. A large group of friends, human rights activists, and members of the transgender community gathered outside Houston City Hall to honor her life and bring attention to the alarming increase in the number of killings of transgender women of color in the U.S.
Paris Rich, 25, of San Diego, Calif. was found dead in a hotel room on June 13. Police are investigating her death as a possible homicide. Paris was a young, beautiful trans person with lots of motivation to live life to the fullest. She loved and was very protective of her family and close friends. Paris was a very independent woman and had dreams of being a stylist to the stars one day.
Quinn Mowrer Gustin’s mom says Quinn loved animals more than anything. She had an affinity for stray cats, and would regularly feed them. She was always there for her friends, and always knew how to make the people around her laugh. She was unapologetically trans and queer. She was always willing to defend anyone from the hatred of the world. Quinn lost her battle with mental health on March 24.
Ray Muscat, who worked at a grocery store, was described by coworkers as a “kind soul who had a glowing smile.” On May 8, 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.
Rexy Que, 26, of Wichita, Kansas, died by suicide. They were chair of the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Asexual College Conference. “Rexy was passionate about using data analysis to shift public policy. They were a performer, musician, advocate, and strong force in the state of Kansas pushing for necessary change.”
Sasha Mason, 45, died May 13 in Zebulon, North Carolina after being shot during an armed robbery in her apartment by someone known to her. She was part of a large, loving family. She was a beloved family member and friend to many. On social media, Sasha’s friends and family remembered her as a sweet, kind, and generous person with a beautiful smile who cherished her friends and family.
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, Semaj was found in a Jacksonville, Florida hotel parking lot with multiple gunshot wounds. He died in hospital. Police have no suspect in the murder.
Serena Brenneman, 16, of Salem, Oregon died by suicide on Sept. 16. At a memorial at West Salem High School, Serena was described as “Quirky, kind, stylish, sweet.” Brenneman’s girlfriend spoke briefly at the memorial, urging those in attendance to use the name Serena, the name they said Brenneman had chosen for herself.”
Shawmaynè Giselle Marie, a 27-year-old Black transgender woman, was born and raised in Gulfport, Miss. 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 on June 21. On social media, her family and friends remembered her as a “loving, funny, kind, and genuine person.”
Tatiana “Tee Tee” 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, Labelle was found dead in a garbage nin in Chicago. Although details are currently unclear, her death has been ruled a homicide and detectives are continuing to investigate.
Tiffany Banks’ family and friends remember her as a “sociable and beautiful butterfly.” When she came around, they say, there was “never a dull moment.” They say she loved to sing and dance. Tiffany, a 25-year-old Black trans woman, was killed in Miami on October 1. Her death is the fourth known killing of a Black transgender person in Florida.
Toi Davis, 34, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was found dead July 16 “under suspicious circumstances.” Davis worked as a certified nursing assistant and member of a trans organization called Sisters Helping Each Other Battle Adversity and recently shared her story on Facebook, writing that she felt her path was ordained by God and noted, “My transition has saved my life.”
As is too often the case in the reporting of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people, many of these victims are misgendered in local police statements and media reports, which can delay our awareness of deadly incidents. In the pursuit of greater accuracy and respect for transgender and gender non-conforming people in both life and death, HRC offers guidelines for journalists and others who report on these communities.