(UPDATE-2) Transgender murders continue unabated pace post-TDOR 2014

trans women of colorLEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — UPDATE-2 March 16, 2015 — An arrest has been made in the murder of Gizzy Fowler. See below.

UPDATE March 11, 2015 — An arrest has been made in the murder of Deshawnda Sanchez. See below.

Original article: In addition, trans women of color continue to be disproportionately victims of transgender violence. It is society’s burden to understand that racial prejudice impacts trans women of color the more than any other marginalized group of people in our society. Until we reverse conditions for trans women of color, trans murders are likely to continue at the rate they are occurring now.

A few days prior to TDOR 2014 in November, Gizzy Fowler was gunned down in front of a home in Nashville, Tennessee. Neighbors called police after hearing gunshots, and police found Fowler on the ground near her car. Reports say the house was unoccupied. There has been no further updates since this initial report.

Update — March 16, 2015. From The Advocate:

A man identified as a suspect in the murder of 24-year-old black trans woman Gizzy Fowler, who was found fatally shot next to her car in November, turned himself into police Tuesday, reports Nashville news station WSMV. Mallory Antoine Porter, 18, surrendered himself to authorities the same afternoon that local media announced he had been identified as Fowler’s murderer, but he has denied being involved in the crime. An arrest warrant was issued for Porter after Fowler’s phone records revealed she had traveled to the area where her body was found to meet someone. Forensic evidence revealed that unnamed individual to be Porter, according to WSMV.


In early December, Deshawnda Sanchez (aka Tata) was shot to death in the Compton area of Los Angeles. Police say she was pounding on the door of a house seeking help while being shot. A neighbor’s surveillance camera captured some of the incident. Police believe robbery was involved. At this writing there is no further news.

Update — March 11, 2015. From Reuters:

“Police have arrested a self-described former gang member suspected of killing a transgender woman who was shot to death in Los Angeles as she pounded on the front door of a house seeking help, investigators said on Thursday.

The December killing of 21-year-old Deshawnda Sanchez raised concerns among transgender rights activists that she may have been targeted because of her gender identity, and Los Angeles police supervising detective Chris Barling said her transgender status may have been a factor in the slaying.

Barling said prosecutors would decide whether to charge the suspect, Robert James Spells, with a hate crime but that police did not anticipate such a court filing to be made on Thursday, when Spells is expected to be charged with murder in the case.”


Also in early December, Keymori Shatoya Johnson was shot to death in her Albany, Georgia (USA) home. Police arrested Kuyaunnis James that same day and supposedly charged him with manslaughter. Police did not reveal any further details. Johnson’s mother told news reporters Keymori was shot at twice while trying to get away. A grand jury was supposed to have been held on Dec. 18th, however I’ve been unable to find a updated news report on what transpired that day, that is, if it was held at all.

In mid-November, Gay Star News reported the death of a trans woman in the former Soviet state of Georgia. The unnamed victim was found dead in a burned out locked apartment in the capital city of Tblisi. It is believed the fire was started to cover evidence of the murder. No further information available.

Deshawnda Sanchez, Los Angeles: http://ktla.com/2014/12/04/transgender-woman-shot-killed-while-pounding-on-door-of-compton-home-for-help/

Update — arrest made in LA murder: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/26/us-usa-transgender-california-idUSKBN0LU2M320150226

Gizzy Fowler, Nashville: http://www.advocate.com/crime/2014/11/18/nashville-trans-woman-found-shot-death

Update — arrest made in Nashville murder: http://www.advocate.com/politics/transgender/2015/03/16/suspect-arrested-november-shooting-tennessee-trans-woman

Keymori Johnson, Albany, Ga: http://www.advocate.com/crime/2014/12/16/suspect-charged-shooting-death-ga-trans-woman-media-and-police-still-get-it-wrong

Tblisi, Georgia: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/transgender-woman-found-murdered-burnt-out-apartment-tblisi-georgia121114

trans women of color

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10 replies

  1. TDOR: Transgender Day of Remembrance

    • Hi Lexie;

      It’s been a while since I had the chance to sit down and read one of your entries; it was a busy month. I was remembering the first time that I heard the word “transgender”, I was eight, and it was back in my birth country Colombia, specifically in my birth city Cartagena.

      I grew up in a city where collectivism was the rule of the land, and if you there to be different or be yourself, you could face repercussions. I heard for the first time about LGBTQ with the documentary of Jenny Livingston “Paris is Burning” and suddenly I didn’t felt alone but also the film it opened my eyes to a reality that was beyond my street, the reality of discrimination of the LGBTQ and the Trans-erasure because it was the first time with Venus Xtravaganza that I saw the repercussions of intolerance and bigotry.

      Two decades I would experience within my own flesh, the first by the murder of a teacher and how the city police didn’t reacted and later by the shunning of my own parents, telling me they hope I died from AIDS and that I return crawling.

      I never looked back, but I can relate to the late young Leehlah Alcorn, because that was exactly the same environment I grew up in, and I felt because of them that I was worthless, if I wasn’t the way they wanted. I am happy I have a partner who is soon to be my husband, a friend that is like my sister and a circle of friends that prevented the worst.

      My only wish and I know as a collective we can do it, is gather harmony and respect as members of the human race, because we all are equal with our own individual personalities and self.


  2. As despicable as murder in general is, and in our Trans community in particular, the disproportionate numbers of T women of color victims is to be expected given the high incidence of black on black crime in general, and murder in particular. With just over 12% of the population, black on black murders account for over 50% of those reported. According to FBI reports (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/offenses-known-to-law-enforcement/expanded/expanded-homicide-data ) :

    ´Of the 12,664 murder victims in 2011 for which supplemental data were received, most (77.6 percent) were male. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 1.) [NOTE: No information is given as to how trans individuals are counted, but one must assume that pre-operative MtF persons would be assigned to the male category}
    • Concerning murder victims for whom race was known, 50.0 percent were black, 46.0 percent were white, and 2.6 percent were of other races. Race was unknown for 175 victims. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 2.)
    • Single victim/single offender situations accounted for 48.4 percent of all murders for which the UCR Program received supplemental data. (See Expanded Homicide Data Table 4.)
    • Of the offenders for whom gender was known, 89.3 percent were males. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 3.)
    • Of the offenders for whom race was known, 52.4 percent were black, 45.2 percent were white, and 2.4 percent were of other races. The race was unknown for 4,077 offenders. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 3.)
    • Of the homicides for which the FBI received weapons data, most (67.8 percent) involved the use of firearms. Handguns comprised 72.5 percent of the firearms used in murder and nonnegligent manslaughter incidents in 2011. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 8.)
    • In 2011, in incidents of murder for which the relationships of murder victims and offenders were known, 54.3 percent were killed by someone they knew (acquaintance, neighbor, friend, boyfriend, etc.); 24.8 percent of victims were slain by family members. The relationship of murder victims and offenders was unknown in 44.1 percent of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter incidents in 2011. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 10.)
    • Of the female murder victims for whom the relationships to their offenders were known, 36.5 percent were murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Tables 2 and 10.)
    • Of the murders for which the circumstance surrounding the murder was known,
    42.9 percent of victims were murdered during arguments (including romantic triangles) in 2011. Felony circumstances (rape, robbery, burglary, etc.) accounted for 23.1 percent of murders. Circumstances were unknown for 38.0 percent of reported homicides. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 11.) “

    Again, while the violence in general in our community, murder in particular, is abhorrent, this needs to be addressed on a societal level. Understand that while the violent proclivities of American general are in need of adjustment, it appears that violence in the communities of color is at disproportionately high levels of occurrence. Whatever the cause, poverty, oppression, morality, tradition, there are issues in the black society that need to be resolved.

    • I believe when main reasons for the Poverty and violence is single-parent homes. Especially young males need a man around. 70% of African-American children being born out of wedlock. I believe in the 50s it was only 22%. Statistics will show you that higher, percent of people in prison come from single-family homes. And this is not just humans, that need a strong man around. I member being in Africa. They had this park they put a bunch of young elephants in. They had some adult female elephants. But the young males. When a mock. Destroying an attacking other animals. But when they put an adult male elephant among them. He made them behave.I think if you look at the statistics and all racial groups those that raise their children. Which two parents in the house. Do so much better economically have much less trouble with the law. As statistics show that African-American couple, both with college educations do somewhat better than European couple with the same education. It is amazing European Americans do better than African-Americans. But Asian Americans do somewhat better than European Americans. Could it be of their strong family ties . I think we’ve lost the importance of family bringing up children

  3. All over the world We Transgender are one of the favorite targets of the haters. They were murderous Us in the most violent manner.Are they All so insecure in their sexuality. They must take it out on us? But you also must take in consideration That in the African-American community. The murder rate is ridiculously high is so . For all. African-Americans make up 13% the population but commit over 50% of the homicides. You can
    easily see more African-American sisters would be murdered.

  4. Hannah, it is terrible. But remember: there are countries in which our rights are protected, where we are part of the communities, and many of us are valued for our talents. These countries are primarily in the European Union, although some Buddhist countries are also friendly to us (Buddhism is not a religion but a life philosophy based on love, acceptance, and giving to others) . . . it’s not hopeless at all. never give up hope. It’s slower here in the USA but it will end, I know it.


  1. Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015: A Reporter's List | Pride & Equality Post
  2. Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015: A Reporter’s List | LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS
  3. Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015 | The Politics of Gender

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