Black Trans Woman Brazil Johnson Dies from Gun Violence in Milwaukee During Pride Month

Photo of Black trans women Brazil Johnson
Brazil Johnson via Facebook

Brazil Johnson, a 28-year-old Black trans woman, is the most recently reported fatal victim in the anti-trans campaign of terror in the United States.

Around 6:30 AM, Wednesday June 15, 2022, Milwaukee police reported that Brazil’s body was discovered near Teutonia Avenue and Garfield Avenue. She had been shot multiple times. There are no current leads in the investigation.

According to her family Brazil worked as a chef. The kitchen was her safe haven, her mother Bernita Gildart told CBS-58.

“Bake, chef it up, loved to get in the kitchen,” Gildart said. 

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Milwaukee police at 414-935-7360 or to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 414-224-Tips or P3 Tips App

Brazil’s death notification comes two days after we reported on the murder of Sasha Mason in North Carolina and the same day the US Supreme Court struck down a gun control law. She was murdered a few days before Juneteenth, now a recognized federal holiday celebrating Black culture and acknowledging the trauma of slavery, and in the smack middle of Pride Month.

There was a delay in notifying the community, mainly because of law enforcement and media deadnaming and misgendering Brazil. For example, take note of this tweet from the Medical Examiner’s office:

Correction: adult female homicide victim. They got her identity right the first time and then felt the need to do this on Twitter?

Brazil was born and raised in Milwaukee. She turned 28 in January. She was a fan of food, music, and art culture. She loved her grandmother, family, and her friends. Her family is absolutely heartbroken. How can someone be shot multiple times and no evidence has been shared with the public?

If you’d like to support the family by sending flowers or cards please email Dee Dee Watters at imdeedeewatters@gmail.com and she’ll provide details. Flowers need to be sent by June 28th. I am grateful TransGriot continues to alert us to these and many other stories centering Black trans women.

Brazil is the 17th transgender person reported as a victim of fatal violence in 2022. She is the tenth Black trans woman and the thirteenth woman of color from these neighbors. At age 28, she is among the oldest of the victims. Her death means a trans neighbor has been murdered every 9.7 days in 2022 in the United States. To date the victims include 10 Black trans women, 3 Latinx trans women, 1 AAIPI trans woman, 1 white trans woman and 2 white trans men. The youngest was 17, the oldest was 50. 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.

Rest in power, Brazil. Your light and life were extinguished far too soon. You deserved all of the years to cook, bake, and be with the people you love. I am so sorry we weren’t able to protect you from gun violence. Thank you for all that you brought to this world.

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.

  1. Amäriey Lèį (Myara) – Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. January 1, 2022. Age 20
  2. Duval Princess – Jacksonville, Florida. January 2, 2022. Age 24.
  3. Naomie Skinner – Detroit, Michigan, February 12, 2022. Age 25.
  4. Cypress Ramos – Lubbock, Texas, February 13, 2022. Age 21.
  5. Paloma Velasquez – Houston, Texas, February 26, 2022. Age 29.
  6. Matthew Spampinato – New Castle, Delaware, February 9, 2022. Age 21.
  7. Tatiana LaBelle – Chicago, Illinois, March 18, 2022. Age 33.
  8. Kathryn Newhouse – Canton, Georgia, March 19, 2022. Age 19.
  9. Kesha Webster – Jackson, Mississippi, March 26, 2022. Age 24.
  10. Miia Love Parker – Chester, Pennsylvania, April 1, 2022. Age 25.
  11. Ariyanna Mitchell – Hampton, Virginia, April 2, 2022. Age 17.
  12. Fern Feather – Morristown, Vermont, April 12, 2022. Age 29.
  13. Ray Muscat – Clarkston, Michigan, May 8, 2022. Age 24.
  14. Nedra Sequence Moss – Opa-locka, Florida, May 14, 2022. Age 50.
  15. Chanelika Y’Ella Dior Hemingway aka “Sid” – Albany, New York, May 31, 2022. Age 30.
  16. Sasha Mason – Zebulon, North Carolina, May 13, 2022. Age 45.
  17. Brazil Johnson – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 15, 2022. Age 28.

Deaths in 2021 (see this link for deaths reported during the 2021 calendar year) These are deaths reported in 2022 and beyond.

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.
Trans deaths