Two transgender women were violently murdered within days of each other in the USA.
On 21 June, Shawmaynè Giselle Marie, 27, was shot and killed at the Emerald Pines Apartments in Gulfport, Mississippi.
Makhari Seven Gasaway, 20, is being held on first-degree murder and aggravated assault charges, according to WLOX.
Police say he shot Marie after an argument and that other family members were present, including children, Marie’s mother and her sister, who was also shot but is recovering.
Tori Cooper, Human Rights Campaign (HRC) director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, wrote a beautiful tribute to Marie.
“Shawmaynè was a kind, beautiful young person who, like any person, deserved to live a full life,” Cooper said. “Her life was cut short by gun violence. These tragedies happen all too often to Black and brown transgender women in communities across the country.
“The violence we face is one of the devastating results of ongoing stigma and discrimination. All of us must step up to end that stigma. We are people. We have friends and family, passions, hopes and dreams, just like anyone else. And we deserve to live our lives fully without discrimination or violence.”
Transgender hate crimes continue to rise. (Photo by Guy Smallman/Getty Images)
Sadly, the tragedy didn’t end there. On 29 June, Kitty Monroe, was murdered in a senseless act of violence in Cordova, Tennessee.
Monroe was shot multiple times in what police believe was a domestic dispute. The man knew her prior to her death and they briefly dated. The suspect is in police custody.
Jasmine Tasaki, founder and executive director of WeCareTN, said in a statement to HRC: “Kitty was a beautiful person; her energy was always light and fun. Her family and friends will miss her, I hope we will hold closer to each other in this dark time. Memphis has lost another beautiful person, but we’ve gained an angel.”
Transgender Homicide Tracker found that between 2017 and 2022, three-fourths of confirmed homicides against transgender people have involved a gun. Black transgender women account for 73 per cent of all transgender gun homicide victims.
Transgender women continue to face high levels of violence, scorn and are left unprotected.
In Tennessee, where Monroe was murdered, the state does not include gender identity as a protected characteristic in its hate crime law.
Violence against trans people is rife across the USA, with HRC reporting that at least 19 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been killed this year.
As well as Shawmaynè Giselle Marie and Kitty Monroe, the community has mourned across 2022: Amariey Lej, Duval Princess, Cypress Ramos, Naomie Skinner, Matthew Angelo Spampinato, Paloma Vazquez, Tatiana Labelle, Kathryn “Katie” Newhouse, Kenyatta “Kesha” Webster, Miia Love Parker, Fern Feather, Ariyanna Mitchell, Raymond “Ray” Muscat, Nedra Sequence Morris, Chanelika Y’Ella Dior Hemingway, Sasha Mason and Brazil Johnson.