Two Spirit Person, Acey Morrison, Killed in South Dakota

Via Facebook

Acey Morrison, a 30-year-old Two Spirit person, was killed in Rapid City, South Dakota on August 21, 2022. News of their death broke just this week when LGBTQ journalist Nico Lange tweeted about their death.

Them reports:

Law enforcement found Morrison dead in a mobile home, after the owner of the residence reported the murder to police, according to local outlets KNBN and KELO. Officials identified a suspect shortly after the shooting and began interviews. It’s unclear whether or not charges have been pressed, despite the fact that the killing occurred nearly a month ago. 

A month has passed, they have a suspect identified, and yet … nothing? If the suspect is cooperating, why is this taking so long? Is the suspect also Lakota or white? What is happening?

Acey was born and raised in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. It is the tribal headquarters of the Oglala Sioux Tribe on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Acey was buried with traditional Lakota services according to the obituary. The services were September 2, 2022. According to the obituary, Acey identified as a “Two-Spirit relative” and the obituary used she/her pronouns. I am waiting to confirm some details about their enrollment with the Lakota nation.

Acey graduated from Oelrichs High School, they worked at the Country Inn & Suites as well as Wal-Mart and Sams’ Club. Coworkers from work were included in their funeral services. They had a large extended family, most recently posting about co-celebrating the birthdays of their mother and her nephew.

The obituary is lovely in its infinite sadness. Note that I do not know Acey’s pronouns so I used they/them and kept the obituary as written.

To those she held in her heart and to those who held her in their hearts, seeing her in her wholeness. She was kindhearted, down to earth, joyous, respectful, and loving soul. She was a helpful and giving person who was always there for her family and friends. Acey always put a smile on others and had those around her laughing and happy. She always had her natural ways in being there for those she loved. She used laughter as medicine and chose self-love to heal wounds. She was the one to open her home up to you, give you her lasts, then inspire you to keep going, “this too shall pass”.

We will remember her as who she was to each of us: authentic, and unapologetic. As the one who strived to succeed, she set goals and reached them, then set another. Her work ethic and her openness to learn was guidance to all of her achievements. She navigated this life through her big dreamer eyes and was always headed for the brighter days. So with that, we will remember her as who she was on her brightest days. We wish her healing and that our love be with her on her journey to the other side.

Acey was misgendered in most of the reporting of their death – a clear factor that delayed notification of the community. The ongoing refusal of so many media outlets to report facts.

Acey is the 31st transgender person reported as a victim of fatal violence in 2022.  They are the 25th person of color from these neighbors respectively. Their death means a trans neighbor has been murdered every 7.7 days in 2022 in the United States – that’s a noted uptick from earlier this summer. To date the victims include 19 Black trans women, 3 Latinx trans women, 2 AAIPI trans women, 1 Native/Indigenous person, 2 white trans women and 3 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, Acey. Your life was vibrant and beautiful. You deserved many more years to enjoy your life. Thank you for all that you brought to this world. May your journey in the Spirit World bring you rest and the laughter you brought to this world continue to heal your loved ones.

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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.
  18. Shawmayné Marie McClam – Gulfport, Mississippi, June 21, 2022. Age 27.
  19. Kitty Monroe – Memphis, Tennessee, June 29, 2022. Age unknown.
  20. Martasia Richmond – Chicago, Illinois, July 12, 2022, Age 30.
  21. Toi Davis – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 16, 2022. Age 34.
  22. Keshia Chanel Geter – Augusta, Georgia, July 20, 2022. Age 26.
  23. Cherry Bush – Sylmar, Los Angeles, California, July 6, 2022. Age 48.
  24. Hayden Davis – Detroit, Michigan, July 25, 2022. Age 28.
  25. Marisela Castro – Houston, Texas, July 29, 2022. Age 39.
  26. Dee Dee Kandii Redd – Kansas City, Missouri, July 24. Age 29.
  27. Maddie L. Hofmann – Malvern, Pennsylvania, May 19, 2022. Age 47.
  28. Jasper Aaron Lynch – McLean, Virginia, July 7, 2022. Age 26.
  29. Dede Ricks – Detroit, Michigan, August 27, 2022. Age 33.
  30. Regina Mya Allen – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 29, 2022. Age 35.
  31. Acey D. Morrison – Rapids City, South Dakota, August 21, 2022. Age 30.

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


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