25-Year-Old Black Trans Woman Murdered on Christmas Day in Chicago

Black Trans Woman Chicago
Photo via Facebook

Just a week after writing about the ugly shooting death of a 19-year-old Black gender nonconforming young adult while they were at a Christmas party, I was hopeful there would be no more deaths to cover in 2020. I was wrong about that and in a very terrible way.

Another violent murder of a young Black trans woman. Her name was Eshay Key. She was 25 years old when she was shot on Christmas and found Christmas Night.

From Chicago media (note – misgendering in original report)

[She] was found about 8:35 p.m. lying unresponsive after being shot on the side of the street in the 900 block of East 82nd Street, Chicago police said. [S]he was pronounced dead on the scene.

The Cook County medical examiner’s office hasn’t identified the [victim], but conducted an autopsy and ruled [the] death a homicide by gunshot wound to the head.

Eshay Key, 25, was shot & killed in the 900 block of East 82nd, Chatham neighborhood, Southeast Side on December 25, 2020. Her death was reported across Facebook as her loved ones learned the news. A vigil was organized Sunday, December 27, near the location where she died.

It was an especially deadly weekend in Chicago with 30 people shot and 8 killed, including Eshay. Three people were fatally shot on Christmas Day, including Eshay.

Eshay was the 43rd known victim of this epidemic of transphobic violence engulfing the nation. She is the 28th Black trans person and the 24th Black trans woman murdered in the US that we know of in 2020. She is one of 18 victims age 25 or younger.

Her social media feeds are filled with the exuberance and lively content you expect from a twentysomething young woman. Now they are filled with the grief of her friends. One of her last posts was a shout-out to her friend Bella, another Black trans woman who had died under mysterious circumstances in August 2020.

Isabella Mia Lofton
Screenshot from Eshay’s Facebook profile.

Brave Space Alliance is helping with the funeral.

Rest in power, Eshay. You were taken from this world far too young and clearly deeply missed by many, many people. Your life was magical and should have continued for many years. Your loved ones will seek justice for your death and lift up your life.

May your memory be a revolution.


My list of transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary neighbors who have lost their lives to violent deaths in the US during 2020. Please do not copy this post without attribution.

  1. Dustin Parker – McAlester, Oklahoma. January 1, 2020. Age 25.
  2. Alexa Negron Luciano – Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. February 24, 2020. Age 29.
  3. Yampi Mendez Arocho – Moca, Puerto Rico, March 5, 2020. Age 19.
  4. Monica Diamond – Charlotte, North Carolina. March 18, 2020. Age 34.
  5. Lexi – Harlem, New York City, New York. March 28, 2020. Age 33.
  6. Johanna Metzger – Baltimore, Maryland. April 1, 2020. Age 25.
  7. Serena Angelique Velazquezz – Puerto Rico. April 22, 2020. Age 32.
  8. Layla Pelaez – Puerto Rico. April 22, 2020. Age 21.
  9. Penélope Díaz Ramírez – Puerto Rico. April 13, 2020. Age 31
  10. Nina Pop – Sikeston, Missouri. May 3, 2020. Age 28.
  11. Helle Jae O’Regan – San Antonio, Texas. May 6, 2020. Age 20.
  12. Tony McDade – Tallahassee, Florida. May 27, 2020. Age 38.
  13. Dominique Rem’mie Fells – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. June 8, 2020. Age 27.
  14. Riah Milton – Liberty Township, Ohio. June 9, 2020. Age 25.
  15. Selena Reyes Hernandez – Chicago. May 31, 2020. Age 37.
  16. Brayla Stone – Sherwood, Arkansas. June 25, 2020. Age 17.
  17. Merci Mack – Dallas, June 30, 2020. Age 22.
  18. Jayne Thompson – Colorado, May 2020. Age 33.
  19. Bree Black – Pompana Beach, Florida, July 3, 2020. Age 27.
  20. Draya McCarty – Baton Rouge, Louisiana, July 2020. Age unknown.
  21. Shaki Peters – Amite, Louisiana, July 1, 2020. Age 32.
  22. Marilyn Cazares – Brawley, California, July 13, 2020. Age 22.
  23. Tatiana Hall – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, approx June 29, 2020. Age 22.
  24. Queasha Hardy – Baton Rouge, Louisiana, July 27, 2020. Age 24.
  25. Tiffany Harris – Bronx, New York, July 26, 2020. Age 32.
  26. Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears – Portland, Oregon, July 28, 2020. Age 32.
  27. Aerrion Burnett – Independence, Missouri, September 19, 2020. Age 37.
  28. Mia Green – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 28, 2020. Age 29.
  29. Michelle Ramos Vargas – Puerto Rico, September 30, 2020. Age 33.
  30. Kee Sam – Lafayette, Louisiana, August 12, 2020. Age 24.
  31. Felycya Harris – Augusta, Georgia, October 3, 2020. Age 32.
  32. Brooklyn DeShauna Smith – Shreveport, Louisiana, October 7, 2020. Age 20.
  33. Sara Blackwood – Indianapolis, Indiana, October 11, 2020. Age 39.
  34. Angel Haynes – Memphis, Tennessee, October 25, 2020. Age 25.
  35. Lea Rayshone Daye – Cleveland, Ohio, August 30, 2020. Age 28.
  36. Scott DeVore, also known as Scottlynn Kelly DeVore – Augusta, Georgia, March 31, 2020. Age 51
  37. Yunieski Carey Herrera – Miami, November 17, 2020. Age 39.
  38. Asia Jynaé Foster – Houston, Texas, November 20, 2020. Age 22.
  39. Chae’Meshia Simms – Richmond, Texas, November 23, 2020. Age: 39.
  40. Skylar Heath – Miami, Florida, November 4, 2020. Age 20.
  41. Kimberly Fial – San Jose, California, November 22, 2020. Age 55.
  42. Bella Pugh – Prichard, Alabama, December 13, 2020. Age 19.
  43. Eshay Key – Chicago, Illinois, December 25, 2020. Age 25.

We are also monitoring these suspicious deaths