Trans people, and trans women of color especially, are under attack in this country. Last year marked the deadliest year on record for transgender people, with 27 murders. In 2017, there have already been seven murders and we’re only in the third month.
Considering trans women’s risk of sexual violence, trans people’s economic vulnerability, and trans women’s often hostile interactions with police, tons of work must be done to protect and support trans people. As activists continue to organizes and communities continue to discuss, we honor the seven trans women on record who have been killed in 2017.
1. Mesha Caldwell
Caldwell was shot several times and found dead on a rural road close to Canton, Mississippi, on January 4. She was a makeup artist and hairstylist.
2. Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow
On January 6, this customer service agent was found dead in her South Dakota home in what investigators believe to be a homicide. She was in the process of studying social work and nursing.
3. JoJo Striker
Striker was found dead in a garage in Toledo, Ohio on February 8. She was an advocate for other trans women in her community.
4. Jaquarrius Holland
Holland was shot and killed in a verbal altercation on February 19 in Monroe, Louisiana. According to a friend, Holland loved to makeup and styling hair.
5. Keke Collier
Also know as Tiara Richmond, Collier was shot multiple times while in a car with a man on February 21 in Chicago, Illinois. Collier was loved by many friends and was remembered by a vigil in Chicago.
6. Chyna Gibson
On February 25, Gibson was shot and killed outside a shopping center in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was known for her legendary drag performances at various venues.
7. Ciara McElveen
McElveen was stabbed to death on February 27 in New Orleans, Louisiana. She did healthcare outreach to the city’s homeless population.