List of people killed for being transgender
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This is a worldwide list of people who were killed for being transgender. The list does not include suicides, accidental deaths, or premature deaths. Some of the perpetrators in these cases cite the trans panic defense. Violence against transgender people is also known as trans bashing.
- 1988 – Venus Xtravaganza was strangled to death in New York City on 21 December. Her body was found four days later, shoved under a hotel bed.
- 1989 – Carla Leigh Salazar was found stabbed to death in her apartment in California. In 2014, Douglas Gutridge was charged with murder on the basis of DNA evidence; he pleaded not guilty, and died in 2016 before the case came to trial.
- 1991 – Sonia Rescalvo Zafra, a 45-year-old transgender woman, was killed in the Parc de la Ciutadella by six neo-Nazi skinheads who kicked her and her friend Dori repeatedly in the head while they were lying on the floor. Her death was a wake up call for the Spanish LGBT movement, which began to publicly fight violence against the LGBT community.
- 1993 – Brandon Teena, a 21-year-old transgender man, was raped and murdered in Falls City, Nebraska on 31 December. Two men were convicted of first-degree murder in the incident. The crime became the subject of the Academy Award-winning film Boys Don't Cry.
- Amanda Milan, a 25-year-old trans woman, was walking by Times Square, Manhattan, New York City, when Dwayne McCuller walked up and began to harass and threaten her. Milan stood up to him and asked him if he wanted to fight. Witnesses said he declined. As he walked away, another young man, Eugene Celestine, told McCuller he had a knife. McCuller grabbed it, and stabbed Milan in the neck. A man named David Anderson reportedly helped McCuller escape from the scene. Milan died soon after at St. Vincent's Hospital. Transgender activist Sylvia Rivera worked towards seeing that Milan's death was investigated and organized Milan's political funeral along with other demonstrations claiming a disconnection of transgender rights from the larger LGBT communities. After Milan's murder, Rivera reformed a transgender activist group, Street Trans Activist Revolutionaries (STAR). Rivera cited the crime among the reasons to add a broad definition of gender to the New York City Human Rights Law.
- Gwen Araujo of Newark, California (died October 2002), a Latino-American teenage trans woman, was killed by four men, two of whom she had had sexual relations, who beat and strangled her after discovering she was transgender. Two defendants were convicted of second-degree murder, but not convicted on the requested hate crime enhancements. The other two defendants pleaded guilty or no contest to voluntary manslaughter. In at least one of the trials, a trans panic defense – an extension of the gay panic defense – was employed.
- Nireah Johnson was a 17 year old African American trans woman who was murdered along with friend Brandie Coleman in Indianapolis, Indiana by Paul Moore, who was initially sexually attracted to Johnson and then discovered that she was transgender so he lit her car on fire while she was with Coleman inside.
- Janice Roberts was an American transgender woman who was kidnapped by serial killer William Devin Howell on 18 June. Howell later told an informant that he tried to engage Roberts in a sexual act, and strangled her when he realized that she was transgender.
- Shelby Tracy Tom was a Canadian transgender woman working as a sex worker in North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, who was killed by Jatin Patel on 27 May 2003. According to Patel, while having sex with her he noticed her surgery scars and he panicked as a result and strangled her. The prosecutor attempted to classify her death as a hate crime, but Supreme Court of British Columbia Justice Patrick Dohm ruled that the crime was not motivated by hate because he did not know of her transgender identity when meeting her and thus could have not targeted her for it. Patel's defense attorney used a gay panic defense as part of his defense of Patel, who pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter and was sentenced to nine years in jail.
- Gisberta Salce Júnior, a Brazilian transgender woman, was murdered in Oporto, Portugal, by a group of 14 youths between 12 and 16 years old, who tortured and raped her for three days, and finally threw her, still alive, into a well over 15 m deep, where she drowned. Eleven of the minors received minimal sentences of under 13 months in a semi-open education center of the Instituto de Reinserção Social, and two received sentences of additional education. Her death became a symbol of the violence against women and the LGBT community, and shortly after laws protecting trans women were introduced in Portugal.
- Roberto, a transgender man, was killed by two women that had found refuge in his apartment, in Madrid, Spain. Both women had been mistreating Roberto physically and psychologically for a year, before they killed him on 29 August 2007 with a brutal hit on the head. Both women were condemned to 19 years of prison.
- Latisha King was shot twice in the back of the head in a class at a computer lab on February 12, 2008 at E. O. Green Junior High School in Port Hueneme, California. She had made romantic advances towards Brandon McInerney who was often teased as a result of her fixation with him. Prior to killing her, he had previously requested help in beating her up, but nobody showed interest.
- Angie Zapata was a trans woman murdered on 17 July 2008, in Greeley, Colorado. Her death was the first case involving a transgender victim to be ruled a hate crime. Colorado is one of only eleven states that protect transgender victims under hate crime laws in the United States. Allen Andrade, who learned eighteen-year-old Angie was transgender after meeting her and spending several days with her, beat her to death with a fire extinguisher. In his arrest affidavit, Andrade called Zapata "it", and during his trial a tape was played of a phone conversation in which he told his girlfriend "gay things need to die". Andrade's attorneys used a gay panic defense. On 22 April 2009, Andrade was found guilty of first degree murder, hate crimes, and car/ID theft. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
- Lateisha "Tiesh" Green was shot and killed on 14 November 2008 outside a house party in Syracuse, New York. Convicted of Onondaga County's first hate-crime homicide, Dwight R. DeLee, was motivated by anti-LGBT bias and his belief that Green was gay.
- Simmie Lewis Williams Jr., a 17 year old black gay man, was fatally shot on 22 February 2008 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. USA. He was wearing women's clothing at the time of his death.
- Victoria Carmen White, a black trans woman, was murdered on September 12, 2010. Alrashim Chambers was brought to trial for her death, but he was acquitted; he blamed another man, Marquise Foster, for the murder. The only motive suggested was transphobic violence; the words "You a dude?" were heard by White's friends (who were in an adjacent room) shortly before gunshots were fired.
- Dee Dee Pearson, a black transgender woman, was murdered on 24 December 2011. Kenyon Jones confessed to the murder, telling police that he had paid Pierson for sex and when he found out she was transgender, he became angry and killed her. Jones was charged with second degree murder and armed criminal action and was sentenced to 30 years in jail.
- Svetlana, a trans woman from Moscow, Russia. She was beaten to death with a shovel by two persons, who had intended to have sex with her. It is suggested that after they learned she was transgender they were motivated to kill her.
- Sweet Maria, a transgender activist, was murdered and mutilated in Kollam, India.
- Agnés Torres Hernández, a 28-year-old trans woman activist, was murdered on 10 March in Atlixco, Puebla, Mexico.
- Carmen Guerrero, a trans woman who was killed by her cellmate, Miguel Crespo, at Kern Valley State Prison in California’s Central Valley.
- Evon Young, a black trans man who went missing on 2 January, was later found tortured and murdered. A friend claimed five men were responsible.
- Islan Nettles, a 21-year-old black trans woman, was beaten to death in Harlem, New York on 17 August after a group of at least seven men accosted her and two of her transgender friends. One of the men, James Dixon, had been flirting with her. After he realized she was transgender, he struck her. After falling down, Dixon proceeded to beat her. She died of head injuries in hospital. Her death prompted a number of protests. On 21 April 2016, Dixon was sentenced 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter.
- Dwayne Jones, a Jamaican 16-year-old, was beaten, stabbed, and run over by a car in Montego Bay on 22 July 2013 after attending a party in women's clothing for the first time.
- Kimberly Sody, a transgender woman, was beaten and died of her injuries on 31 October in the Dominican Republic. Her killer was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
- Çağla Joker was fatally shot in Istanbul on 21 April, while another trans woman was shot but survived.
- Mahadevi, a 22-year-old disabled trans woman, was pushed off a moving train in Bangalore, India on 24 September.
- Keeta Bakhsh died following a police beating on 23 October in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, that occurred while police raided her house. Police originally claimed her injuries were due to jumping from a moving police van but have since suspended the raid leader.
- Sabi Beriani was killed at her home in Georgia, on 10 November by Levan Kochlashvili. He had beaten another trans woman, Bianka Shigurova, that day.
- Aniya Parker, a black trans woman, was murdered on 3 October in Los Angeles during what police considered a robbery gone wrong, though the attackers did not take her purse and advocates believe she was targeted due to being transgender.
- Jennifer Laude was murdered in Olongapo, Philippines, on 11 October. Joseph Scott Pemberton was convicted of the murder. Pemberton reportedly killed her after discovering she was a pre-operative transsexual.
- Mary Jo Añonuevo was strangled and stabbed 33 times in the bar she owned in Lucena City, Philippines, on 22 October.
- Marcela Duque was stoned to death by a group of attackers on 9 September in Medellín, Colombia.
- Pamela Moreno a 24-year-old transgender woman, was struck by a vehicle and killed during an altercation and robbery in La Banda, Argentina on 3 December. A police officer with a history with Moreno was charged in her murder.
- Ty Underwood, a black transgender woman from Tyler, Texas, was found in her car, dead from three gunshot wounds, on 26 January. A roommate stated that Underwood may have been targeted because she was a transgender woman. Carlton Champion, a Texas College student who was involved in a relationship with Underwood and afraid of friends finding out about the relationship, was arrested, tried, and convicted of her murder.
- Brian Golec, a white man, was stabbed to death by his father, Kevin Golec, on 13 February 2015. Golec was a 22-year-old living with his father. He had previously identified as a trans woman, but returned to living as a man in the year preceding his death. His father called 911 after the stabbing, claiming it was "the cult" that had broken in and stabbed his son. The cult he referred to is believed to be a local trans support group. Police determined that no one had broken in. Kevin Golec was charged with murder and felony domestic violence. In August 2015 he pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 15 years.
- Fernanda "Coty" Olmos, aged 59, of Santa Fe, Argentina was found in her Alfonso home stabbed and shot to death on 25 September 2015. Area neighbors and media believe "the brutality of the murder suggests that this is a transphobic crime, a femicide against a transgender woman". Olmos had done "charitable work during the dramatic floods" that hit Sante Fe in 2003.
- Diana Sacayán, aged 40, of Flores, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Sacayán was a prominent transgender activist who served on the board of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and was a leader of Argentina's Antidiscrimination Liberation Movement. She was found in her apartment on 13 October with multiple stab wounds. Her death is being investigated as a hate crime.
- Alisha, a 23-year-old transgender activist, was shot seven times and died 25 May in the Lady Reading Hospital in Peshawar, Pakistan. Hospital staff spent over an hour determining whether to place Alisha in a male or female patient ward. Fellow transgender activists reported being taunted as they waited for Alisha outside the emergency room.
- Hande Kader, a 22-year-old transgender woman, was raped, murdered, and then burned in Istanbul, Turkey. Her body was found on 12 August. Kader worked as a sex worker and was last seen getting in a client's car. She was also a prominent activist in the LGBT community of Turkey and had appeared in LGBT rights events in the country, including a 2015 Gay Pride event in Istanbul that was cracked down on by police.
- William Lound, a 30-year-old gender non-conforming person from England, suffered multiple stab wounds and died on 8 February at the University of Salford, where they had been a student.
- Raina Aliev, a 25-year-old Muslim transgender woman and killed and disfigured just after marrying a man in Russia. She was originally from Chechnya and her family had called for her execution.
- Paola Ledesma, a 27-year-old trans woman who was rejected by her family and left her birthplace to become a sex worker in Mexico City, was shot on 30 September by client Arturo Felipe Delgadillo Olvera, who became angry after he found out that she was transgender. Delgadillo, an armed security guard, was released after a judge determined that there was insufficient evidence to judge him.
- Erykah/Erika Tijerina, a 36-year-old Latina trans woman, was found dead in her apartment in El Paso, Texas on 8 August 2016. A police officer who entered the apartment discovered "obvious signs of foul play". Her sisters expressed belief that her death was a hate crime.
- Rae'Lynn Thomas, a 28-year-old black trans woman, was shot twice in front of her mother, and then beaten to death by James Allen Byrd in Columbus, Ohio on 10 August, as she begged for her life. Byrd called her "the devil" and made transphobic comments. Her family called for the murder to be investigated as a hate crime, but Ohio hate crime statutes do not cover gender identity.
- Jessica Mendes Cavalcanti, 24-year-old trans woman, was surrounded by two young men and fatally stabbed to death in the Canaa neighborhood of Uberlandia on 19 April. One of the suspects who was apprehended by police confessed that they had committed the crime because Cavalcanti was transgender.
- Laysa Fortuna, a 25-year-old trans woman, was stabbed in the chest, in Aracaju, Sergipe, on 18 October 2018. The aggressor said that if Bolsonaro was elected president, all trans people and transvestites are killed. Bolsonaro did not comment on the subject.
- Amna, 35-year-old and Meeno, 26-year-old, both khawaja sara Pakistanis, were allegedly beaten to death and tortured by Saudi police in Riyadh February 28. Their clothing and jewelry was also confiscated by the police.
- Chanda Sharmeeli, a 30-year-old trans woman was shot dead in Karachi, Pakistan sometime on 30 August or early morning 31 August. She had been with a gathering of other trans people discussing what they believed to be a recent under-counting of Pakistan's trans community when a gang of armed men began harassing them and eventually shot Chanda.
- Hilario López Ruiz, a 26-year-old described in a local news report as a travesti, was found dead on 15 August, inside a wastewater drainage hole in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. The news report stated that López was beaten to death by a client who perceived López as a homosexual man.
- Dandara dos Santos, a 42-year-old Brazilian trans woman, was tortured and shot in the face in Bom Jardim, a poor neighborhood of Fortaleza, on 15 February. The incident was filmed and published, which helped apprehend the at least five men who attacked her.
- Wilka, a 40-year-old Brazilian trans woman, was attacked and killed on 26 March in Pernambuco, in the southern state of Loteamento Luiz Gonzaga. She suffered three stab wounds. According to a friend she was murdered when someone realized that she was transgender whilst attempting to rob her.
- On 6 September 2018: As The Times of India reported, "A transgender woman in Pakistan has died after being set afire by four men when she resisted sexual assault. The men had taken the woman to an isolated area in the city of Sahiwal, in the eastern part of the nation." She was allegedly set on fire by four people after she resisted attempts by the people to sexually assault her, and as a result suffered burns on 80% of her body. She succumbed to her injuries during transport to a hospital.
- Following a false rumor that transgender women were kidnapping children for sex trafficking in Hyderabad, four transgender women were attacked by a mob on 26 May 2018. One of the women died. Local police issued an "Appeal to Public" saying that the rumors of criminal involvement by transgender women were "fake" and that the public should not "take law into your hands...so that innocents won't become a victim of those rumors anymore."
- Nataly Briyth Sánchez, an undocumented sex worker originally from Honduras, was murdered during a sexual encounter on 19 June in Tapachula. The client stabbed her to death after discovering that she was transgender.
- Alaska Contreras Ponce, 25, a transgender beauty queen and sex worker, was found dead with her neck sliced by barbed wire after gruesome torture in Martinez de la Torre, 25 July.
- Jhoana Hernandez, a transgender woman, feminist activist and sex worker was kidnapped, tortured and then killed in Xalapa, Veracruz, 24 September.
- Kelly Stough, 36, a Black trans woman, was murdered in Palmer Park, Detroit in December. Albert Weathers, 46, a preacher, has been charged with her murder and prosecutors claim her gender identity was motivating in the crime.
- Nina Surgutskaya, 25, was killed by her boyfriend Mikhail Tikhonov, a doctor, in Kursk, eastern Russia.
- Muhlaysia Booker, 23, a Black trans woman, was found shot and killed after a 6:40 am shooting report call, Saturday, 18 May, Dallas, Texas at Tenison Park Golf Course. There are currently no leads in the shooting. The shooting came just over a month since a nationally viral video showed Booker being publicly beaten and called slurs on 12 April. Police have no current ties to connect the previous assailant to her later murder. Less than a month before her death, she spoke publicly saying, "This time, I can stand before you whereas in other scenarios, we're at a memorial." On June 5, 2019 a suspect was arrested by the Dallas police and charged with three counts of murder, including the murder of Muhlaysia Booker.
- Johana Medina Leon, 25, a trans woman from El Salvador seeking asylum in the United States, died in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody in El Paso, Texas on Saturday, 1 June around 9:00 pm. After applying for asylum at the Paso del Norte Port of Entry on April 11, Leon was detained at the facility where she informed officials of her medical condition, including complications resulting from HIV. Leon passed her interview determining that she had credible fear of persecution should she return to El Salvador on May 18, but was not paroled until she entered the hospital later that month. According to family and advocates, during her incarceration at the facility, she had been denied medication and treatment resulting in her death at the Del Sol Medical Center.
- Kiki Fantroy, 21, a Black trans woman, was shot and killed in southwest Miami-Dade County, Florida in the early morning of Wednesday, 31 July near an abandoned house. Miami Police claimed the murder resulted from an argument and not a transgender hate crime, however Fantroy's mother, whom she lived with, and others who knew her disagreed. Fantroy was reportedly headed home from a party with a group when a teenage male, 17, approached her and propositioned her for sex, which she declined, after which he began shooting at another member of the group. Fantroy ran, pursued by the young man, who then opened fire and murdered her. On 5 August, the suspect was arrested in connection with an unrelated case, and admitted to the murder in police custody. He has been charged with murder (second degree) and attempted murder. On 31 July, Elizabeth Warren spoke out about her death along with the death of Denali Stuckey .
- Bee Love Slater, 23, a Black trans woman, was found immolated inside her car Wednesday, 4 September in Clewiston, Florida. Arriving on the scene in the early morning, officials state the body was burned unrecognizable. However, family and friends identified her from the location and car, which was confirmed 6 September by police in a report which deadnamed the victim. Some reports indicate the victim might've been bound and shot, prior to immolation, however those reports remain unconfirmed. No motive or lead has been determined at this time. Those close to the victim have stated they suspect her murder was likely due to her trans status.
- Nikki Kuhnhausen, 17, a white trans woman, was identified from decayed human remains on Saturday, 7 December in the Larch Mountain area near Vancouver, Washington. Authorities were able to identify the body as Kuhnhausen from personal effects; subsequent examination showed she died from strangulation. Kuhnhausen had previously been missing since 5 June (reported 10 June) when she left with a male suspect, 25, who has since been charged (second-degree) in her murder. The suspect's account cites trans panic as his reason for the murder. Authorities currently believe the suspect, looking for a sexual encounter, became enraged upon learning of Kuhnhausen's transgender status. Spurred by the case, on 26 February 2020, the Washington State Legislature passed the Nikki Kuhnhausen Act, outlawing the use of panic defenses based on gender and sexual identities. The Act preempts the trial of Kuhnhausen's alleged killer and thus prevents the use of that defense.
- Carly VG, a transgender woman and sex worker was stabbed to death by a group of people in the downtown of Oaxaca on July 15.
- La Becky, a 52-year-old transgender woman who owned the local gay bar La Esquina del Chacal, was killed in the Minatitlán shooting on April 19. Three armed men broke into a family gathering and murdered 14 people, including La Becky.
- Jesusa Fidel Ventura Reyes, better known to her friends as Chucha, was a 25-year old trans woman who was killed in the Mexican State of Veracruz. She went missing on the night of May 17, and her family contacted local police 24 hours after her disappearance. Local authorities found her severed head in a cooler in front of the town hall. Her body was found discarded in a street elsewhere in the city. Witnesses report seeing a group of armed men leaving the cooler outside the town hall. Reyes' family first identified her on Sunday, May 19 and claimed her body on May 20.
- Brayan Sánchez Zárate, better known as Britany, was a 20-year old trans woman who was killed in the city of Misantla in Veracruz. On May 26, she was shot by two men with .38 calibers on the city's local football field. Sánchez Zárate had been previously crowned "Gay Princess 2019" on Misantla's annual LGBT carnival.
- Alexa Luciano Ruiz was fatally shot in Puerto Rico on February 24, after an incident in a local restroom. Carmen Yulín Cruz called attention to her death before the 2020 Puerto Rico gubernatorial election. Ms. Luciano was killed while the assailant men laughed.
- Serena Angelique Velázquez, 32, and Layla Pelaez, 21, both transgender women, were found murdered on April 22 in Humacao, Puerto Rico. They were burned to death.
- Selena Reyes-Hernandez, 37, was fatally shot in Chicago, Illinois on May 31 by a man she went home with, after telling him she was transgender.
- Valera (name is changed in the report), a 46-year-old man, a janitor, was killed on February 10 in Chelyabinsk, Russia, by his dorm roommates after they learned he was a transgender man.
- Patsy Andrea Delgado, aged 42, was found dead on March 5 in Chihuahua City in Mexico. The police reported that she had been killed by blows to the head; a hammer with traces of blood was found near her body. The Comité de la Diversidad Sexual de Chihuahua, a local LGBT rights association, said that her killing was a hate crime.
- Ajita Bhuje, 29, was a sex worker found dead on January 17. Detectives believe she was killed over a dispute over payment.
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A GIRL LIKE ME: THE GWEN ARAUJO STORY
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