Latina Trans Woman Caelee Love-Light Killed in Phoenix

Caelee Love-Light
Caelee Love-Light via Facebook

Last week, 27-year-old Caelee Love-Light was found dead at the scene of a car incident in Phoenix, Arizona. The Latina transwoman succumbed to gunshot injuries she sustained while involved in some sort of altercation with the male occupant of the car. He was stabbed several times and later died of his injuries at a nearby hospital.

Officers had responded to the area of 23rd Avenue and Baseline Road early Saturday morning at around 3:25 a.m. to an “unknown trouble call”, according to the original statement.

Upon arrival, officers were directed to a car where they found a man with serious injuries as well as an unresponsive woman inside.

The woman, now identified as 27-year-old Caelee Lovelight, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man, now identified as 47-year-old Javin Casillias, was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Detectives believe that Lovelight and Casillias were in a physical altercation with each other where Lovelight was shot and Casillias was stabbed, according to a police statement.

AC Central

Sadly, mainstream media has focused on the “gun and knife battle” element of the story rather than the lives of the people who died. We don’t know what happened in that car, but given what we know generally and what I’ve learned from Caelee’s friends, it is likely that she was defending herself. It is certainly a possibility, but I guess the headline is too seductive when reporting on yet another seeming interpersonal violence incident. We don’t know why they were in the car together, the nature of their association, or who did what. If there is any evidence from inside the car like a dash cam or footage on a cell phone, that’s not been made public. Will there even be an investigation?

According to her friends, Caelee was born on May 17, 1995 in Texas. Her father was of Mexican descent and her mother was white. Caelee identified as Latina. She relocated to Portland where she legally changed her name and gender markers with the financial support of friends who understood how vital that process was to her welfare. It is unclear when she relocated again to Phoenix, Arizona. Her friends do not believe her remaining biological family will acknowledge her identity; her parents are both deceased, they report. So it is unclear what if any final arrangements will be made for Caelee. Will anyone in Phoenix organize a candlelight vigil? Will anyone locally reach out to her friends in Phoenix and learn more about her most recent lived experiences?

Who will say her name?

Caelee also used the names ‘Baby Goddess’ and ‘Candy Geisha’ on social media. I don’t know why, but I’m sharing that information to help her friends who may not know of her passing find this post. Her social media feeds are filled with affirmations, a celebration of her connection to the Divine, and her unwavering commitment to connecting with other people in a loving, healthy manner.

Her friend Ana Luthien Lisbeth Keathley says

[She] was a person who loved to read. Almost daily when I met with her, she was fond of reading. She reminded me of myself when I liked to read Encarta and other encyclopedias growing up. In contrast, Caelee loved to read anything. She was hyperlexic, and she enjoyed learning something new every day.

She does on to say that Caelee was a very religious and spiritual person who “passionately defended nonbinary and trans folks.”

Caelee is the 40th transgender person reported as a victim of fatal violence in 2022.  She is the 32th person of color from these neighbors respectively. She is the 29th woman of color from these neighbors. Her death means a trans neighbor has been murdered every 8.7 days in 2022 in the United States. To date the victims include 21 Black trans women, 5 Latinx trans women, 2 AAIPI trans women, 1 Native/Indigenous person, 2 white trans women, 3 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, Caelee. Your spiritual journey suggests you now find yourself in a realm where you’ve shed your pain and trauma, to find new connections with lost loved ones. However, you deserved so much better while you were in this world with us. Your life made a lasting impression on your friends and community. You deserved better than to die on the side of the road by yourself. I am sorry we did not create a safer world for you.

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.  

  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.
  32. Semaj Billingslea – Jacksonville, Florida, September 21, 2022. Age 33.
  33. Tiffany Banks – Miami, Florida, October 1, 2022. Age 25.
  34. Ace Scott – Kansas City, Kansas, April 15, 2022. Age 15.
  35. Diamond Jackson-McDonald – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 24, 2022. Age 27.
  36. Kelly Loving – Colorado Springs, Colorado, November 20, 2022. Age 40.
  37. Daniel Aston – Colorado Springs, Colorado, November 20, 2022. Age 28.
  38. Day Rodas – Malibu, California, December 1, 2022. Age 27.
  39. Mar’Quis ‘MJ’ Jackson – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 14, 2022. Age 33.
  40. Caelee Love-Light – Phoenix, Arizona. December 10, 2022. Age 27.
Trans deaths
  • Our family held a service for her today. Shes loved and honored as who she is, love and light! She’s at peace now. 🤍
    Disappointingly, she’s a martyr, and there is immense pain and regret in the family. We tried to get her off the streets. She was a defiant woman, misunderstood. We love you Caelee, we feel you in our hearts eternally. I’m happy we could embrace you one last time. 🥹

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