She was 18 years old, a young Black trans woman. Her name was Tasiyah ‘Siyah’ Woodland and she lived in Lexington Park, Maryland. On Friday, March 24, 2023, she became the most recent reported victim of the campaign of terror targeting the transgender community when St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded a 911 call in Mechanicsville, Maryland at 1:15 am on Friday morning for the report of shots fired. Tasiyah was found alone and declared dead at the scene.
Reports indicate that Tasiyah died from multiple gunshot injuries. Someone shot and killed an 18 year old young woman and left her to die alone in the parking lot of a bar. Someone called 911. Did they stay with her? Did they hold her hand? Did they see the shooter(s)?
Will her name be said around the world as with other recent killings of white trans teens?
A Black trans woman, Siyah studied at the College of Southern Maryland after graduating from Great Mills High School. Her social media is filled with pop culture images, a lot of food and recipes, attractive shoes, and images of what she aspired for her home. She was a very real typical teenager who had a job that she described as boring, but still she went. She had multiple social media profiles, but – heartbreakingly – set up what she described as her “new & last page” two days before her death. She had hopes, ambitions, dreams. She celebrated her accomplishments and triumphs. All things she deserved, things ripped away from her by gun violence and the transphobia and misogynoir that permeates our society.
The intersections of her identities were sources of wondrous strength and joy for Siyah, but we must remember that they left her exceptionally vulnerable in a world that tolerates murdering children and finding a reason to blame them for their own death. Of course a 18-year-old kid shouldn’t be at a bar at 1;15 AM, but I did it and I’m sure most of you did as well. We didn’t deserve to be shot to death. And neither did this young woman. Much like our recent post about Brianna Ghey, we must continue to remember these are our children.
Trans teens are constantly oppressed by the system and people around them. Especially in school. Bullying and harassment that goes unnoticed is very common. As a person who has been bullied and harassed for who I am, the school system does not do enough to make sure trans people and other lgbtq students are safe. It’s important that figures in authority do not choose to ignore this.
Media and law enforcement have misgendered and deadnamed Tasiyah, but I did see that the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is working with PFLAG and local organizations.
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office has been in regular contact with members of the victim’s family to offer support and investigation updates. The Sheriff’s Office has also been in contact with members of PFLAG Southern Maryland and the LGBTQ+ community to address concerns of personal and public safety.
Anyone with additional information about this incident is asked to contact Detective David Lawrence at 301-475-4200, ext. 78130 or email email@example.com.
Citizens may remain anonymous and contact Crime Solvers at 301-475-3333, or text a tip to “TIP239” plus their message to “CRIMES” (274637). Through the Crime Solvers Program tipsters are eligible for an award of up to $1,000 for information about a crime in St. Mary’s County that leads to an arrest or indictment.
Anyone with cellphone video or images who was present at the scene is urged to visit the Sheriff’s Office’s Citizen Upload Video Upload Portal at https://www.firstsheriff.com/uploadevidence/ Videos can be provided anonymously through the portal.
Tasiyah Woodland is the eighth trans or gender nonconforming person whose violent death has been reported in 2023. She is the fourth Black trans woman, the seventh trans woman, the sixth trans woman of color, the seventh trans person of color, and at age 18, the youngest of the 2023 victims to date. As of today, a trans person has been killed in the US every 10 days. Reported, we know there are more than go unacknowledged.
Her family has created a GoFundMe to help with final expenses.
Rest in power, Tasiyah. You deserved so many more years to pursue your dreams and explore your heart’s desire. Your life echoes through the hearts of your friends and family. Your death reminds us that our work to create a safer, loving world has much work to do. It’s important that figures in authority do not choose to ignore this.
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 2023. Please do not copy, modify, or share this list without attribution.
- Jasmine ‘Star’ Mack – District of Columbia, January 7, 2023. Age 36.
- KC Johnson – Wilmington, North Carolina, January 13, 2023. Age 27.
- Tortuguita – Weelaunee Forest, Georgia, January 18, 2023. Age 26.
- Unique Banks – Chicago, Illinois, January 23, 2023. Age 21.
- Zachee Imanitwitaho – Louisville, Kentucky, February 3, 2023. Age 26.
- Maria Jose Rivera Rivera – Houston, Texas, January 21, 2023. Age 22.
- Cashay Henderson – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, February 27, 2023. Age 31.
- Tasiyah ‘Siyah’ Woodland – Mechanicsville, Maryland, March 24, 2023. Age 18.