14 trans youth have died violently since 2022 in the US

The brutal murder of 14 year old Pauly Likens in Western Pennsylvania is far from an isolated incident..

Looking through my archive of memorial posts, I found 14 listings of youth and young adults 21 and under. That’s a span of 18 months, averaging nearly one trans youth brutally murdered each month. They represent more than 20% of the deaths I’ve reported in that time span. Data for 2023 and 2024.

From January 2021June 2022, I memorialized 13 youth in that same age range. Their deaths represent 17% of the memorials written during that time frame.

Causes are similar to older victims – gun violence, domestic violence, robberies. dating apps, ‘trans panic’ by transphobic individuals. workplace violence. Including Pauly, three were murdered and dismembered – Jacob Williamson and Ryan Zimmerman. Ryan’s murder took place in Colombus, just several hours from Merer County.

There’s another trend – the murderers are also young. Usually, early to mid twenties.

While young people may be more affirming than previous generations, young trans folx still face a hostile, vicious reality. The vitriol and ignorance of MAGA culture flows from the voting booth to the children of those voters, immersed in rhetoric of hatred, violence, and bitterness. Their economy is ruinous, their climate changing inexorably, and their futures uncertain. Those are realities that stem from the very politics that created MAGA culture, but that connection isn’t often clicking in their brains. Or the brains of anyone absorbing MAGA culture. Lashing out is inevitable, whether that’s internalized hatred or acts of violence against other people.

Gen Z, Zalpha Gen, and Generation Alpha are different than many of us (I’m Gen X), but the legacy isn’t as whimsical as “my mom drank from a hose” or “my other mom made her own TV dinner and watched something called reruns every night.” That’s a different post, but the point is that while some of the younger generations are pursuing better lives amidst the chaos we caused, some of the them are not. They are stuck and hurting and destructive.

Some of them internalize the anti-trans rhetoric and lash out at the most vulnerable rather than directing their ire at the real cultural destroyers. However, that doesn’t absolve any of these people from personal responsibility for taking these precious lives. It might just remind us that until we do better by trans folx, the violence won’t stop. We must increase the messaging that trans lives deserve to be protected and follow the lead of trans organizations in how we direct funding, volunteer, etc.

This is a list of 14 trans folx, 21 and younger, murdered in the US in the past 18 months. I am sure the list is incomplete and that it will grow in the remaining months of 2024.

  1. Unique Banks – Chicago, Illinois, January 23, 2023. Age 21.
  2. Tasiyah ‘Siyah’ Woodland – Mechanicsville, Maryland, March 24, 2023. Age 18.
  3. Jacob Williamson – Pageland, South Carolina, July 4, 2023, Age 18.
  4. Camdyn Rider – Winter Haven, Florida, July 21, 2023. Age 21.
  5. Chyna Long – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 8, 2023. Age 20.
  6. Kejuan Richardson – Toledo, Ohio, November 14, 2023. Age 21.
  7. Amiri Jean Reid – Toledo, Ohio, November 14, 2023. Age 21.
  8. Ryan Zimmerman – Sept 2015, Columbus OH Age 21 Murdered 2016, Identified 2020, reported 2024.
  9. Nex Benedict – February 8, 2024. Owasso, Oklahoma. Age 16.
  10. Alex Franco – March 19, 2024. Salt Lake City, Utah. Age 21.
  11. Nevaeh ‘River’ Goddard – April 5, 2024,. Stow, Massachusetts. Age 17,
  12. Jazlynn Johnson – May 6, 2024, Carso City, Nevada. Age 18.
  13. Tayy Dior Thomas – May 7, 2024, Mobile, Alabama. Age 17
  14. Pauly Likens – June 23, 2024, Sharon, Pennsylvania. Age 14


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