Pennsylvania was home to the most recent victim of anti-transgender violence terrorizing our nation. Her name was Diamond Jackson-McDonald. She was 27-years-old when she was murdered on Thanksgiving. Diamond was a Black trans woman.
Shahere “Diamond” Jackson-McDonald was found shot to death inside her mother’s apartment on the 400 block of Manheim Street in the city’s Germantown neighborhood on the morning of November 24.
Investigators said the door to the apartment was open and there were no obvious signs of forced entry. Jackson-McDonald was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at the scene.
Diamond went to Simon Gratz High School. Her friends describe her as “a very easygoing loving person She really was the life of the party.” Her life was touched by tragedy – she lost her brother in August. And she was close to another Black trans woman in Philadelphia murdered in 2020, Dominique Rem’mie Fells who was also 27 at the time of her death. In January 2022, her family was devastated by the loss of 12 members, 9 children and 3 adults, after a fire.
And now her friends and family must bury Diamond. How do you endure so much? You take a year of horrible loss, add a violent unexplained death on a holiday so entire families are gutted and destroyed forever as they try to recover. You leave other trans folx, especially Black trans women, terrified because they don’t know if they are less safe than they were two weeks ago. You do this a few days after a violent mass shooting in a queer and trans space claimed the lives of at least two other trans persons and sent waves of fear through entire communities.
And then you frame it saying that the vicious anti-trans rhetoric behind legislation in Pennsylvania and elections and campaigns and school board policies, you say that is not connected to this. You are either evil or absolutely foolish.
Diamond’s social media is filled with photos of her family and acknowledgment of their impact on her life. She celebrated birthdays, honored losses, loved her nieces and nephews, and just poured her heart into all of those relationships. She was fun-loving, bold, and determined. She deserved better than we gave her and that’s on all of us to bear.
And for the first time in my memory, a District Attorney issued a robust press release about Diamond’s murder. Kudos to Larry Krasner.
“We are here today to honor a promising life that was violently ended by a person or persons that Philadelphia Police and our office are working tirelessly to bring to justice, so that they can be held accountable for this crime and are not able to cause any further harm to others. We are here to say her name: Diamond Jackson-McDonald,” DA Krasner said. “I urge anyone who has information that could lead to an arrest for Diamond’s murder to call 911 or submit a tip – which may be done anonymously — to the Philadelphia Police tip line: 215-686-TIPS (8477).”
She was shot multiple times in her mother’s apartment, a residence that showed no sign of forced entry, and left to die on Thanksgiving. As I write this, I’m alternating between tears and rage.
Diamond is the 35th transgender person reported as a victim of fatal violence in 2022. She is the 29th person of color from these neighbors respectively. She is the 21st Black trans women and the 27th woman of color from these neighbors respectively Her death means a trans neighbor has been murdered every 8.8 days in 2022 in the United States. To date the victims include 21 Black trans women, 3 Latinx trans women, 2 AAIPI trans women, 1 Native/Indigenous person, 2 white trans women, 2 Black trans man and 3 white trans men. The youngest was 15, the oldest was 50. Twelve 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.
Rest in power, Diamond. You deserved a long life filled with love, kindness, and a chance to experience the world. I am so very sorry we did not create a safer life for you or a safer world to keep you. You are greatly missed. You are greatly loved. Your life mattered.
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.
- 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.
- Dee Dee Kandii Redd – Kansas City, Missouri, July 24. Age 29.
- Maddie L. Hofmann – Malvern, Pennsylvania, May 19, 2022. Age 47.
- Jasper Aaron Lynch – McLean, Virginia, July 7, 2022. Age 26.
- Dede Ricks – Detroit, Michigan, August 27, 2022. Age 33.
- Regina Mya Allen – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 29, 2022. Age 35.
- Acey D. Morrison – Rapids City, South Dakota, August 21, 2022. Age 30.
- Semaj Billingslea – Jacksonville, Florida, September 21, 2022. Age 33.
- Tiffany Banks – Miami, Florida, October 1, 2022. Age 25.
- Ace Scott – Kansas City, Kansas, April 15, 2022. Age 15.
- Diamond Jackson-McDonald – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 24, 2022. Age 27.