Southwestern Pennsylvania, specifically Pittsburgh, has once again taken a seat front and center in the campaign of terror targeting the transgender community. The first reported violent death of 2022 took place at 6 AM in the morning in Wilkinsburg, a borough adjacent to the eastern border of the City of Pittsburgh.
Her name was Amäriey Lèį (Myara.) She was born and raised in Wilkinsburg, graduated from nearby Woodland Hills High School. Myara’s age is a little unclear, her family states that she was 20 while other sources claim she was 19 or 21. Myara’s Facebook profile places her at 24 years. I have reached out to mutual friends to confirm her age.
Myara was a much beloved coach for the Lady Diamonds, hip hop and Majorette team “striving to provide a positive atmosphere for youth girls.”
Police say they responded to 1300 block of Wood Street around 6 a.m. Saturday morning for reports of a woman lying in the street. There have been no further updates about the investigation that is now in the hands of the Allegheny County Police. Anyone with information is asked to contact the County Police Tip Line at 1-833-ALL-TIPS
Friends and family have established a crowdfund to help with final expenses. Please consider a donation if you are able.
Her family writes
Amari Lei was a vibrant soul with a presence that filled every space she entered. A dancer her entire life, she shared her passion and gift with her friends, family, and the youth of the Lady Diamonds dance squad. She also worked as a youth artist apprentice with the Legacy Arts Project and had an unforgettable presence that will be deeply missed.
SisTers PGH, a Black and Trans led advocacy organization based in Pittsburgh said in a press release
“This is our time, as trans people and activists, to gather and engage in conversations regarding safety and policy. It is our time to demand not only justice for Amarey, but for all of us.”
STK Life Media shared:
May she always be remembered as the positive light that she lived in.
Myara is the first trans death reported in the US for 2022, furthering a horrible trend emerging from this region. In 2021, four BIPOC trans folx were murdered in Beaver and Lawrence counties, near Pittsburgh. The November murder of Angel Naira in Aliquippa remains unsolved. Five murders in less than a year is absolutely mind boggling, but the realities of the racial injustice and transphobia are evident in many walks of life, from the brutality leveled at Admiral Rachel Levine MD, a Pennsylvania native, to the introduction of transphobic legislation targeting public schools sports programs. On a daily level, reports of harassment, discrimination, and assault are widespread and massively underreported in any official capacity.
2021 deaths reached 51, with the most recent on December 27 in Illinois. This record setting year was devastating for everyone, including me. It hurts me deeply that this year is off to such a brutal start so very close to my home.
Rest in power, Myara. You brought beauty, joy, and energy to our community. Your friends and family are heartbroken. I am so sorry that we have not created a safe community for you to live and be yourself. You deserved many years to embrace the world and be showered with love.
May your memory be a revolution.
This is our list of transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming neighbors who have been victims of the campaign of terror in 2022.
Amäriey Lèį (Myara) – Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. January 1, 2022. Age 20.