Marisela Castro, 39, was born in Juticalpa, Olancho in Honduras. She spent most of her life in North Carolina where she attended Riverside High School, moved to Houston several years ago to be close to her sister and her nieces and nephews, She was a supporter of St. Jude’s Hospital and a fan of Bad Bunny. Marisela worked in the construction trades.
Friends shared the she often sang songs by the Mexican American artist “Marisela,” her namesake. She kept up a bright and sunny demeanor despite the discrimination she faced.
She was killed early Friday when a man got out of a car she was in and shot her in the back as she walked down the street in the Northshore neighborhood of east Houston. For several days, her identity remained a mystery. Trans activists around the country were seeking leads to help identify her.
According to the Houston Chronicle:
Video evidence from the scene showed a dark, four-door sedan drive up to the location. A man and the victim got out of the car and one shot was fired from behind the woman striking her, investigators said. The man got back into the car and the vehicle left.
I’m not sure how she was identified, but hope that it offers her friend and family some comfort to be able to say good-bye to her.
A family friend posted on Facebook “I join the pain of the Castro family for the irreparable loss of our friend Marisela Castro” hoping for justice and remembering her friend.
Her friend Jorge Luis Lizardo knows the violence she faced and that it may have cost her life
She had no enemies, according to Lizardo, who suspects that her death was the result of another senseless hate crime.
“She was always so happy, but you know that all across the U.S. there are many that don’t like transgender people, and this is not the first time this has happened,” he said.
Marisela is the 25th transgender person reported as a victim of fatal violence in 2022. She is the 4th Latina trans woman and the 20th woman of color from these neighbors respectively Her death means a trans neighbor has been murdered every 8.4 days in 2022 in the United States. To date the victims include 16 Black trans women, 4 Latinx trans women, 1 AAIPI trans woman, 2 white trans women 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.
No word yet on final arrangements.
Rest in power, Marisela. You deserved the wonderful 40th birthday party you planned for August. You deserve more time to spend with your family and friends. I am so very sorry that you experienced hate and discrimination in so much of your daily life. We did not create a safe enough world to protect you. Thank you for all that you gave – your time, your talents, you love, your generosity. You will be remembered for far more than the circumstances of your death and your legacy will be handed down to future generations.
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.
- Nedra Sequence Moss – Opa-locka, Florida, May 14, 2022. Age 50.
- Chanelika Y’Ella Dior Hemingway aka “Sid” – Albany, New York, May 31, 2022. Age 30.
- Sasha Mason – Zebulon, North Carolina, May 13, 2022. Age 45.
- Brazil Johnson – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 15, 2022. Age 28.
- Shawmayné Marie McClam – Gulfport, Mississippi, June 21, 2022. Age 27.
- Kitty Monroe – Memphis, Tennessee, June 29, 2022. Age unknown.
- Martasia Richmond – Chicago, Illinois, July 12, 2022, Age 30.
- Toi Davis – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 16, 2022. Age 34.
- Keshia Chanel Geter – Augusta, Georgia, July 20, 2022. Age 26.
- Cherry Bush – Sylmar, Los Angeles, California, July 6, 2022. Age 48.
- Hayden Davis – Detroit, Michigan, July 25, 2022. Age 28.
- Marisela Castro – Houston, Texas, July 29, 2022. Age 39.
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