Raymond ‘Ray’ Muscat is the most recent victim of the campaign of violence claiming the lives of trans neighbors, a terror campaign. Ray was a 24-year-old white trans man, born and raised in Michigan.
Ray was shot to death by his live-in girlfriend who also shot her brother to death and then fled on Sunday, May 8 from their apartment. His girlfriend, Ruby Tavener, was a 22 year-old white trans woman. They had been in a relationship for almost two years.
According to police reports, a 911 call came in during the early morning hours from another woman in the apartment, reporting gun shots. When police arrived, they found the bodies of Ray and Ruby Taveners’s brother, Bishop, in the apartment. Ruby Tavener’s car and cell phone were at the scene, so police believed she had fled on foot. She was considered armed and dangerous to herself and others. Ruby Tavener’s body was discovered Monday morning; she died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Ruby Taverner allegedly had three weapons registered to her: two 9 mm handguns and one .38 caliber handgun. A Glock 43X handgun, which she purchased within the past week, was found near her body,
Police also report conducting a welfare check on the couple’s apartment a month earlier, but have not offered any motive for the two murders.
According to their obituary,(deadnaming and misgendering at that link) Ray Muscat was known to family as “Boom, to the Anime world as “Ray_graveyard” & to many others most recently simply as “Ray”.
Ray worked at Meijer for many years & was described by customers and co-workers as a kind soul who had a glowing smile that was contagious to their day. The Anime world was very near and dear to Ray’s heart. Youmakon, Anime Midwest, DokiDokon and other cos meet-ups are where Ray went to have fun and show off their unmatched talent and creativity. Ray was obsessed with all animals but Steele, Ray’s 11 year old cat and Milo, Ray’s “nephew” dog, were the favorites.
Ray graduated from Kettering High School and was studying Early Childhood Education at Oakland Community College. A funeral service will take place at 1pm on Friday, May 13, 2022.
Ray is the 13th transgender person reported as a victim of fatal violence in 2022. He is the second white trans man reported murdered in 2022 that we know of so far. His death means a trans neighbor has been murdered every 9.8 days in 2022 in the United States. To date the victims include 7 Black trans women, 2 Latinx trans women, 1 AAIPI trans woman, 2 white trans men and 1 white trans woman. The youngest was 17, the oldest was 33. Ten were 25 or younger. 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.
Domestic violence, including murder, is a form of terror. It is often dismissed as “not the same” as a murder by a stranger, as if the person most intimate to the victim was incapable of transphobia or damaged by that transphobia in our society. According to a recent study, intimate partner violence among the transgender community from purposive studies ranges from 31% to 50%.
LGBTQ Domestic Violence Awareness Day is coming up on Saturday, 28 May 2022. The Violence Against Women Act, reauthorized in the spending bill signed into law in March by President Joe Biden, now for the first time includes a grant program designed to aid LGBTQ+ survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. And still, Ray and Bishop are dead at the hands of someone they loved.
Sadly, the media is whipped into a frenzy over the fact that a trans woman murdered her trans male boyfriend (and her own brother) then died by suicide. The media coverage focuses on her, the murderer, and that is something often true in similar scenarios involving cisgender heterosexual couples. What’s worse is that people are using the trans identities of both one victim and the perpetrator as fodder for cruel jokes that diminish the tragedy and only serve to keep other folks from asking for help.
If you are a trans person living with intimate partner violence, please reach out to the Trans Lifeline US (877) 565-8860 and Canada (877) 330-6366 or reach out to your local domestic violence organization.
Rest in power, Ray. Your light continues to shine in your beloved Anime community and through the hearts of all the people who loved you. I am so sorry we did not create a world to keep you safe and able to grow up into all the experiences you deserved. You deserved the whole world. Thank you for all that you brought to us during your 24 years.
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.
- Miia Love Parker – Chester, Pennsylvania, April 1, 2022. Age 25.
- Ariyanna Mitchell – Hampton, Virginia, April 2, 2022. Age 17.
- Fern Feather – Morristown, Vermont, April 12, 2022. Age 29.
- Ray Muscat – Clarkston, Michigan, May 8, 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.
Thank you so much for honoring Raymond in this way. Too many people are treating this entire situation as a punchline. He, Ruby, and Bishop were family to me, and seeing this unfold is just an unending nightmare.
Thank you so much for this article. Ray was my cousin and my heart is so broken right now. He would have been happy to know that someone out there reporting what happened did it the right way. Everything you wrote was respectful and helpful for other trans victims. My cousin was a rare warmth in this cold world and I really hope people will remember him for who he was.