Her name was Merci Mack. She was a 22-year-old Black trans woman living in Dallas. She had a job, a car, family, and friends. Her social media posts were playful, blunt, and hopeful.
The final day of Pride month, in the midst of a nationwide uprising for racial justice, a young Black trans woman loses her life to gunfire. I remember yesterday, remember looking at the Google Doodle of Marsha P. Johnson, one of the most revered Black trans women in LGBTQIA history. And I weep thinking that 50+ years later, our trans neighbors particularly our trans BIPOC sisters are still bearing the brunt of the oppression. That we are grieving 22 year olds and 17 year olds.
Merci is the 17th violent death of a transgender person in the US during 2020. Eight of those neighbors were 25 or younger, including Merci who was 22. Another young Texas trans woman was shot to death in early May.
Like so many others, Merci has been deadnamed and misgendered by law enforcement and police. You might notice its ‘not as bad’ as it has been, but if she can’t have respect in these final days after enduring so much violence – when?
No word yet on the police investigation or plans for final arrangements.
Rest in power, Merci. You deserved a long life filled with joy and respect for your whole identity.
My list of transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary neighbors who have lost their lives to violent deaths in the US during 2020.
- Dustin Parker – McAlester, Oklahoma. January 1, 2020. Age 25.
- Alexa Negron Luciano – Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. February 24, 2020. Age 29.
- Yampi Mendez Arocho – Moca, Puerto Rico, March 5, 2020. Age 19.
- Monica Diamond – Charlotte, North Carolina. March 18, 2020. Age 34.
- Lexi – Harlem, New York City, New York. March 28, 2020. Age 33.
- Johanna Metzger – Baltimore, Maryland. April 1, 2020. Age 25.
- Serena Angelique Velazquezz – Puerto Rico. April 22, 2020. Age 32.
- Layla Pelaez – Puerto Rico. April 22, 2020. Age 21.
- Penélope Díaz Ramírez – Puerto Rico. April 13, 2020. Age 31
- Nina Pop – Sikeston, Missouri. May 3, 2020. Age 28.
- Helle Jae O’Regan – San Antonio, Texas. May 6, 2020. Age 20.
- Tony McDade – Tallahassee, Florida. May 27, 2020. Age 38.
- Dominique Rem’mie Fells – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. June 8, 2020. Age 27.
- Riah Milton – Liberty Township, Ohio. June 9, 2020. Age 25.
- Selena Reyes Hernandez – Chicago. May 31, 2020. Age 37.
- Brayla Stone – Sherwood, Arkansas. June 25, 2020. Age 17.
- Merci Mack – Dallas, June 30, 2020. Age 22.