Jenny De Leon was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. She grew up in in Town ‘n Country, Florida and most recently moved to Tampa. Jenny was 25-years-old and in her sister’s words “beginning her life as Jenny.”
On Tuesday, November 2, 2021, her body was discovered by Tampa police around 6 AM. They are actively investigating her death According to their Facebook page “Detectives need tips to help bring the person or people responsible for her death to justice.”
There are not many details available beyond where she was found and the fact that she was homeless at the time of her death. The media has been mostly respectful, but there are some questionable choices around describing her circumstances. Her friends and family alternate between her deadname/male pronouns and using “Jenny” (or Genny)
Jenny’s sister Iriss De Leon tells Watermark that “all this has been really hard on me,” noting that the siblings were best friends growing up.
“There are no words for what Jenny was to me,” she says. “I want justice for her.”
PFLAG Tampa issued a statement
PFLAG Tampa is devastated to hear of the recent murder of Jenny De Leon.
Jenny, like many of the youth we encounter, attended our chapter meetings seeking support in the beginning of her transition, ultimately finding placement in a home through two PFLAG Tampa members. Jenny was an enigmatic, bright soul with enough energy to fill any room.
We offer our deepest condolences to Jenny’s family during this incredibly difficult time.
Her family has established a crowdfund to help with her final expenses. A vigil is planned, but no concrete details just yet. Clearly, something bad happened or the police wouldn’t be so hush hush about details. Poor Jenny.
Anyone with information about De Leon’s death or suspicious circumstances in the early morning hours of Nov. 2, 2021 is asked to call Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay at 1-800-873-8477 and reference Case #21-463329.
Jenny is the forty-sixth trans, nonbinary or gender nonconforming person reported killed in 2021. Forty-one of these neighbors have been BIPOC. 31 of these victims were under the age of 30. That we know of, as many deaths go unreported or unacknowledged. 2021 is now the most violent year on record for our trans neighbors in the United States, surpassing the previous total of 44 deaths in 2020.
Just two days ago, I wrote about the murder of Marquiisha Lawrence, lamenting this terrible new reality of 2021 as the most violent year on record for trans, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming neighbors. I knew then about Jenny, but didn’t have confirmation. There is also another death that we are waiting to confirm. Even so I didn’t expect to turn around to write Jenny’s obituary and then stare ahead at the coming weeks, wondering just how much trauma the trans community will have to endure this year.
What will it take for people to stop asking “what will it take to stop this?” and for those people to start investing in solutions rather than simple platitudes? You have to do something differently, each of you who reads this post. You cannot simply read 46 memorial posts, weep, and then consider your duty discharged.
Rest in power, Jenny. Your short life had an impact on everyone around you. I am grateful that PFLAG was there for you and continue to be there for other trans youth in Tampa and beyond. Your fun loving and creative side are evident throughout your social media, your vision for a better life that centered who you are. And you pursued what you needed in terms of support to reach for that. I hope you found so many moments of joy and acceptance and love even amidst a terrible ending chapter.
May your memory be a revolution, Jenny.
Jenny’s family shared a video of her journey. That’s not something I see very often so I urge you to watch and appreciate that even in the most complicated families, there are moments to cherish.
Our list of transgender, gender, and non-binary neighbors lost to violence in 2021. Please do not copy or share this list without attribution.
- Tyianna Davarea Alexandra — Chicago, Illinois. January 6, 2021. Age 28.
- Samuel Edmund Damián Valentín — Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico. January 9, 2021. Age 21.
- Dominique Jackson — Jackson, Mississippi. January 25, 2021. Age 30.
- Bianca ‘Muffin’ Bankz — Atlanta, Georgia. January 21, 2021. Age 31.
- Fifty Bandzzz — Baton Rouge, Louisiana. January 28, 2021. Age 21.
- Alexus “Kimmy” Braxton — Miami, Florida. February 4, 2021. Age 45.
- Chynaa Carrillo — New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. February 18, 2021. Age 24.
- Jeffrey ‘JJ’ Bright — Ambridge, Pennsylvania. February 22, 2021. Age 16.
- Jasmine Cannady — Ambridge, Pennsylvania. February 22, 2021. Age 22.
- Jenna Franks — Jacksonville, North Carolina, February 24, 2021. Age 34. **
- Diamond Nicole ‘Kyree’ Sanders — Cincinnati, Ohio. March 3, 2021. Age 23.
- Rayanna Pardo — Los Angeles, California, March 17, 2021. Age 26. ***
- Aidelen Evans — Port Arthur, Texas, March 2021. Age 24 ****
- Dominique Lucious — Springfield, Missouri, April 8, 2021. Age 26.
- Jaida Peterson — Charlotte, North Carolina, April 4, 2021. Age 29.
- Remy Fennell — Charlotte, North Carolina, April 15, 2021. Age 28.
- Tiara Banks — Chicago, Illinois, April 21, 2021. Age 26.
- Natalia Smüt Lopez — San Jose, California, April 23, 2021. Age 24.
- Tiffany Thomas — Dallas, Texas, April 21, 2021. Age 38.
- Iris Santos — Houston, Texas, April 23, 2021. Age 22.
- Jahaira M. DeAlto — Boston, Massachusetts, May 2, 2021. Age 42.
- Keri Washington — Clearwater, Florida, May 1, 2021. Age 49.
- Danny Henson — Baltimore, Maryland, May 4, 2021. Age 31.
- Whispering Wind Bear Spirit — York, Pennsylvania, May 4, 2021 Age 41
- Sophie Vasquez — Atlanta, Georgia, May 4, 2021. Age 36.
- Serenity Hollis — Albany, Georgia, May 8, 2021. Age 24.
- Oliver “Ollie” Taylor — Gervais, Oregon, May 19, 2021. Age 27.
- Thomas Hardin — York, South Carolina, May 2, 2021. Age 35.
- Poe Black / Oliver Jackson — Slab City, Niland, California, May 11, 2021 (estimated). Age 21.
- EJ Boykin / Novaa Watson — Lynchburg, Virginia, May 14, 2021. Age 23.
- Taya Ashton — Suitland, Maryland, July 17, 2021. Age 20.
- Shai Vanderpump — Trenton, New Jersey, July 30, 2021. Age 23.
- Tierramarie Lewis — Cleveland, Ohio, June 12, 2021. Age 30.
- Miss CoCo — Dallas, Texas, August 7, 2021. Age 44.
- Pooh Johnson — Shreveport, Louisiana, August 23, 2021. Age 25.
- Disaya Monaee Smith — Dolton, Illinois, September 6, 2021. Age 32.
- Brianna Ulmer Hamilton — Chicago, Illinois, September 17, 2021. Age 25.
- Kier Laprice (Kartier) Solomon — Dallas, Texas, September 30, 2021. Age 21.
- Royal Poetical Starz — Miami Gardens, Florida, October 2, 2021. Age 26.
- Mel Robert Groves — Jackson, Mississippi, October 11, 2021. Age 25.
- Zoella “Zoey” Rose Martinez – Seattle, Washington, August 31, 2021. Age 20.
- Jo Acker– Boise, Idaho, October 25, 2021. Age 26.
- Jessi Hart – Banks, Oregon, early October 2021. Age 42.
- Rikkey Outumuro – Centralia, Washington, October 30 or 31, 2021. Age 39.
- Marquiisha Lawrence – Greenville, South Carolina, November 5, 2021. Age 28.
- Jenny De Leon – Tampa, Florida, November 2, 2021. Age 25.
We are also still monitoring these suspicious deaths from 20/21 (in addition to the 44 documented killings.)
Haven Bailey — Villa Park, Illinois, May 24, 2021. Age 25.