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Shot, beheaded, and killed by family: 295 trans people murdered this year

Shot, beheaded, and killed by family: 295 trans people murdered this year

Kedarie/Kandicee Johnson was a gender-variant teen who was murdered earlier this year

Trans people have been shot, beheaded and even killed by their own family, according to a new report.

It highlights the 295 trans and gender-variant people, at least, who were murdered in the 12 months from 1 October 2015 to 30 September 2016. Thirty were reported to be 21 years old or younger, with some as young as 14.

The Transgender Murder Monitoring Project has released this update in time for Transgender Day of Remembrance on Sunday (20 November).

Brazil (123 murders) and Mexico (52), once again, lead the list of the most reported killings of trans women and men.

The USA has seen 24, a decrease from 27 last year. Colombia and Venezuela each had 14, while in Europe the most reported cases were from Italy and Turkey with five.

But these horrifying numbers are just the tip of the iceberg.

Media organizations – including normally reputable names – are often guilty of misgendering the victims when they are trans, making it even more difficult to get a real sense of the problem.

And there are multiple countries, many in Africa, where we have little knowledge of the violence happening against trans people. The highest numbers have been found in countries with strong trans movements that carry out professional monitoring.

The full detailed list makes for difficult reading, with the vast majority of the deaths being trans women of color.

These are just a few of their names and faces.

Keisha Jenkins, 22, from Philadelphia, USA. Keisha was beaten and attacked by five to six men after exiting her vehicle and shot in the back twice by one of them after falling to the ground.


Xiaofeng Zhang, a 22-year-old identified as a gay, trans and intersex boy who was born in China. His father pushed him out of a window on the fifth floor of a high-rise building, as well as killing his fiancé.

Samantha Ortiz Chicas, an 18-year-old in El Salvador, was beheaded and her body was found under a bridge located in a place beset by gang members.

Demarkis Stansberry, a 30-year-old in Los Angeles, USA, was shot by his friend’s brother. He allegedly thought the gun had no bullets.


Yoshi Tsuchida, a 38-year-old in Tokyo in Japan, was found dead, mutilated and draped in a blanket. His face had been skinned off by a knife.


Kedarie/Kandicee Johnson, at 16 in Burlington, USA, identified as trans and gender-fluid. They were shot several times and their body was left in an alley.


L. Lerang, a 19-year-old, was found hanged in a playground in Petropolis, Brazil.

Luana Biersack, a 14-year-old in Nota Itacolomi, Brazil, was assaulted by a man she had sex with. He punched and kicked her, and forced her head into the water until she drowned.

Monica Ortiz, a 53-year-old in Buenos Aires in Argentina, was tied to her bed and stabbed seven times. After that, the attackers set her house on fire.

Dee Whigham, a 25-year-old, was stabbed in a St Martin hotel room where she had traveled to attend a rodeo with friends.


And Saba, a 17-year-old in Pakistan, was murdered by her cousins in the name of ‘family honor’.

Co-chair of Transgender Europe Alecs Recher said it was important to learn from these statistics.

‘Transgender Day of Remembrance is there to honor the people that have lost their lives to brutal transphobia,’ Recher told Gay Star News.

‘Our Trans Murder Monitoring data show that more murders are reported where there is a strong trans movement. This means that we learn only about the tip of the iceberg and that organizing ourselves does make a difference.

‘The police, the judicial system, the media and the wider public must never misgender, misname or misreport a trans person’s death. At least in death the victim’s dignity must not be violated again.

‘It is so important for us all to come together on Transgender Day of Remembrance to commemorate the victims and see it as a task to work together to prevent further murders and to improve trans peoples’ general living conditions.’