I took my time writing this particular post about the two transgender neighbors killed in the Club Q mass shooting in Colorado Springs. There’s as of yet no evidence suggesting the murderer was particularly motivated by gender identity, but this incident does irrevocably fuse our experiences of oppression, violence, and hate. We must understand that trans folx are ‘us’ and not ‘them’ – yes, there is a different between gender identity and sexual orientation, but there is no real difference in how we are collectively perceived. We are just different degrees of oppressed. And while that matters of course, it should serve to prompt those of us with more privilege/less oppression to strengthen our ties with our community, not step on their backs in a future attempt to escape.
I walk with renewed fear each day. I am hypervigilant, I am looking at people around me, I am anxious. I have a deep rooted feeling that this terror campaign will touch us, touch me, once again.
But it is imperative to honor the lives and acknowledge the deaths of the transgender folx caught up in this particular display of gun violence.
Kelly Loving (she/her), a 40-year-old transgender woman was killed in the Club Q mass shooting in Colorado Springs on November 20, 2022.
Kelly was known on Facebook as Jenna Sno. She was born in Oxford, Mississippi, relocated to Memphis and then recently moved to Colorado this fall. According to reports, she went to Club Q to celebrate her 40th birthday. Kelly enjoyed fashion, had worked at Dunkin,
Loving, who was from Memphis, was compassionate, generous and trusting, Bingham said.
“When I didn’t even know how to put on makeup or how to dress and I didn’t feel the confidence in myself, Kelly was the one to embrace me,” Bingham said. “She told me to embrace who I was, not to worry about what other people think or say. She said being different is okay. Being who I am is okay.”
If Loving was able to help Bingham with her transition, that’s because she had been through it all before.
Loving had been shot and stabbed before by people who didn’t accept her for who she was, Bingham said. Despite it all, she persisted and continued to see the best in people.
“She had the most confidence of anybody I had ever met before,” Bingham said. “She didn’t care what anybody thought about her or who she was because she knew she was genuine in her heart and that’s what mattered,” she said.Denver Post
Daniel Aston (he/him), a 28-year-old transgender man was killed in the Club Q mass shooting in Colorado Springs on November 20, 2022.
He went to high school at Broken Arrow High School and graduated in 2013. Daniel attended North Eastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Daniel was president of the LGBTQ club at North Eastern State University.Obituary
Daniel worked as a bartender for Club Q for two years. Daniel enjoyed his friends and family, acting, music, art, and poetry.
So many of his friends expressed how he got them through rough times growing up and fitting into the complicated world we live in. He loved and respected all faiths and non-conformists.
According to HRC, Daniel was a well-known bartender at Club Q, with the Associated Press reporting that he could often be seen “letting loose, sliding across the stage,” entertaining patrons and helping make Club Q a welcoming space in Colorado Springs for the LGBTQ+ community. His parents, Jeff and Sabrina Aston, described him in an interview as “…the happiest he had ever been. He was thriving, and having fun, and having friends… he had so much more life to give to us and to all of his friends and himself.”
Kelly and Daniel are the 36th and 37th transgender persosn reported as a victim of fatal violence in 2022. Their deaths 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, 3 white trans women, 2 Black trans man and 4 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, Kelly and Daniel. You deserved to be better protected by your communities, your lawmakers, and your neighbors. We know that we must control guns to prevent future incidents like this and it is terrible that your deaths on the heels of so many other people, including children, cannot move people to action. I fear this will be an uphill battle and I grieve that your names are part of the struggle.
May your memories 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.
- Kelly Loving – Colorado Springs, Colorado, November 20, 2022. Age 40.
- Daniel Aston – Colorado Springs, Colorado, November 20, 2022. Age 28.