28-year-old Black trans woman Marquiisha Lawrence of Greenville, South Carolina is the most recently reported victim of fatal violence terrorizing the trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming community in the United States. She died in her family home on Friday, November 5 where family members discovered her body at approximately 4:45 PM. Police reports indicate that she had multiple gunshot wounds.
An autopsy was scheduled for the weekend.
“Marquiisha Lawrence was found dead inside her residence located at 15 Loop Street in Greenville by family members. It appears that she was involved in an altercation with one or more individuals.”
Marquiisha grew up in South Carolina where she graduated high school and studied cosmetology in nearby Spartanburg. She supported herself by working as a cook, a residential aid, and as a dancer. Marquiisha’s family held a balloon release for her on Sunday. Final arrangements are pending. As is the investigation.
Marquiisha is the forty-fifth trans, nonbinary or gender nonconforming person reported killed in 2021. Forty of these neighbors have been BIPOC. 30 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.
This is a sad day. I can’t even muster up being angry just yet because it is just feels like we’ve been anticipating this “new record” in all it’s terrible trimmings, but to what end? Obviously, there is value in documenting the individuals stories as well as the larger trends. But we don’t know if things are getting worse or our reporting is just getting more accurate or both.
We have to stop and think for a minute – the pain and fear and anguish of being shot multiple times in your own home, presumably by someone you knew? When I was 28, I was starting graduate school and working while living in my parent’s basement, a punchline if you will but certainly one the falls flat because I simply rarely worried about my personal safety. I didn’t have to. I worked in a domestic violence shelter and even there, I didn’t carry the fear of being hunted down with me. I was newly out as a lesbian, but I didn’t feel a target on my back.
No matter what happened in that house, she didn’t deserve to die. She doesn’t deserve to have her identity erased by the media and law enforcement. She had people who loved and valued her, whose pain right now is palpable. She was so young. She deserved the world of opportunity.
I wrote this last week in the post for Rikkey Outomuro who was the 44th person killed this year.
is a number so many fox have dreaded these past months and now that it is here, we have to face the reality that in this culture of transphobia toxicity, it will continue to rise. When I share these posts on social media, I often see comments like “When will this stop?” and the answer is when we stop tolerating this form of terror. When organizations with multimillion budgets and national LGBTQIA+ foundation invest in trans led efforts. It is not going to stop til we wise up.
Rest in power, Marquiisha. Your life was far too short, but connected to people who miss you deeply. Your lived experiences are lessons for all of us, if we are willing to learn. And your death should not be obfuscated by ignorance and denial. You were a light in this world and I am so sorry we didn’t do a better job of shielding you.
May your memory be a revolution.
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.
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.