Kesha Webster was found dead on Charleston Drive in Jackson, Mississippi on Saturday, March 26, 2022. Her death is under investigation with family telling the media it was a ‘robbery-homicide’ but no further information from local law enforcement. I haven’t been able to find any media reports of the incident itself.
Kesha’s mother wants to raise the profile of her child’s life and death. Please note that most existing media coverage uses Kesha’s dead name and mixes pronouns.
”Everybody share it all on Facebook,” said Kesha’s mom, Sharon Taylor. “All over Facebook. Let it go out, because I want justice for my baby. Because she was loved. She had plenty of love. She didn’t deserve that. She ain’t no dog, no rag or dirt. She’s gonna get justice.”
Ms. Taylor is the fierce mom everyone deserves. While I am so sad for her broken heart, I hope she finds comfort knowing that her love for her daughter made a difference.
Kesha’s family seems to have accepted and embraced her in her true identity, but they still stumble over the language. This is very different, IMHO, than people who intentionally erase their loved one’s lived identity or refuse to even try to understand and be respectful. Kesha’s closeness with her mother and other family members suggests that there was a genuine desire to know each other in their most authentic self as well as an awareness of the vulnerability Kesha confronted each day.
Kesha also seemed well aware and posted this on her Facebook profile just five days before her death. Was it referencing a specific threat? Was it related to her death? Was it just a premonition? I don’t know, but I do recognize that most cisgender gay and lesbian folks, especially those of us who are white, do not carry this weight around in our day-to-day lives. We must be mindful to listen to other BIPOC trans folx and provide the resources they need to flourish rather than fear.
Kesha worked at Aeropostale and previously at Hollister Co. after graduating from Callaway High School. She traveled frequently throughout Southern states. She turned 24 in February of this year. According to her Facebook profile, her faith was important to her as was her family. She enjoyed meeting new people and posted a lot of hopeful content, suggesting she was an optimistic person.
Family and friends gathered on April 1, 2022 for a memorial vigil and to call for anyone with information to say something. You can reach the Jackson police at (601) 960-1217.
Kesha is the ninth transgender person reported as a victim of fatal violence in 2022. She is the fifth Black trans woman and the seventh woman of color from these neighbors. At age 24, she is among the younger victims as eight are under 30 and one was 33 at the times of their deaths. Their deaths come on the heels of 2021, the most violent year in recorded history with the deaths of 57 trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people in the United States alone. Note that the tabulation includes a significant number of reports of folx murdered in 2021. This might be confusing. Of course it is confusing. I tried to sort it out below.
Rest in power, Kesha. You deserved better, you deserved a long life filled with joy and happiness. Thank you for all that your brought into this world, thank you for making it a better place for so many of your loved ones. I am sorry we failed to create a safer world for you.
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. Please do not copy or share this list without attribution.
As six additions to our 2021 list have been revealed in 2022, I am adding them in a separate list below to try and make any sense of this increasing horror. These folks deserve their lives and deaths to be honored and remembered. The complexity only underscores their realities.
- Amäriey Lèį (Myara) – Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. January 1, 2022. Age 20.
- Duval Princess – Jacksonville, Florida. January 2, 2022. Age 24.
- Naomie Skinner – Detroit, Michigan, February 12, 2022. Age 25.
- Cypress Ramos – Lubbock, Texas, February 13, 2022. Age 21.
- Paloma Velasquez – Houston, Texas, February 26, 2022. Age 29.
- Matthew Spampinato – New Castle, Delaware, February 9, 2022. Age 21.
- Tatiana LaBelle – Chicago, Illinois, March 18, 2022. Age 33.
- Kathryn Newhouse – Canton, Georgia, March 19, 2022. Age 19.
- Kesha Webster – Jackson, Mississippi, March 26, 2022. Age 24.
Deaths in 2021 (see this link for deaths reported during the 2021 calendar year) These are deaths reported in 2022 and beyond.
- 52 Za’Niyah Williams – Houston, Texas. December 20, 2021, reported on Jan 5, 2022. Age 21.
- 53 Nikki Turrietta – Albuquerque, New Mexico, December 31, 2021, reported on January 27, 2022. Age 31.
- 54 Keeva Scatter – Baton Rouge, Louisiana, October 15, 2021, confirmed on February 13, 2022. Age 34.
- 55 Rubi Dominguez – Brownsville, Texas, July 15, 2021, confirmed on February 13, 2022. Age 29.
- 56 Martina Caldera – Houston, Texas, December 6, 2021. Age 38.
- 57 Geri Judd – Bossier, Louisiana, September 28, 2021, confirmed March 1, 2022. Age 60.