Six Weeks After Moving to Minneapolis, Trans Woman Liara Kaylee Tsai Was Killed by Former Partner

Liara Kaylee Tsai via Facebook

The Crime

A beloved was recently murdered on June 22 by a former romantic partner in Minnesota. Liara Kaylee Tsai, 35, was killed in her home, bundled into a mattress and bedding, then placed in her vehicle. From The Advocate.

Olmsted County sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene of the single-vehicle accident and found [Margot] Lewis sitting in a lawn chair in the median of Interstate 90, Minnesota Public Radio reports. “Two people who stopped to offer help told police they saw a dead person in the back seat,” MPR explains. The deputies determined the person was not killed in the car crash. She was wrapped in bedding, a mattress, and covered in a tarp, with a puncture wound on her neck and she was cold to the touch.” Investigators went to Tsai’s apartment in Minneapolis and found her bed and bedclothes were soaked in blood.

An autopsy found Tsai died from multiple sharp-force injuries, Minnesota Public Radio reports. Lewis is in custody in Olmsted County, charged with a felony count of concealing a dead body. Lewis is from Boston and had recently flown to Minnesota where she connected with Tsai. Police found an airline flight tag in the crashed vehicle and also confirmed through surveillance at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

What an absolutely heartbreaking story.

Honoring Liara

Liara was from Mauston, Wisconsin. She studied psychology at the University of Iowa. She was a popular and highly-regarded DJ as well as a crisis counselor. Liara had only moved to Milwaukee six weeks prior to her death. She served in the Air Force for eight years. Liara has also lived in New York, Washington State, and Wisconsin.

Her social media is filled with tributes. Liara’s mother died several years ago. Liara self-identified as polyamorous lesbian trans woman. She was a fan of Corgis and had several as her companions. Liara’s last name was a tribute to her former partner and best friend, Cherry Tsai.

It takes great courage and devotion to spend your life as a crisis counselor.

The Trevor Project issued a statement mourning the loss of Liara:

“Liara was a valued member of our 988 Crisis Intervention team and part of our Trevor community,” the Trevor Project posted on its LinkedIn page. “She is remembered by our team for her empowering gentleness and remarkable ability to center the feelings and experiences of LGBTQ+ young people. Liara saved lives through her crisis intervention work, and we are heartbroken that the world has lost an incredibly bright light far too soon.”

The Context

My list now includes 26 individuals whose deaths were discovered this year. This number is likely not complete as there are multiple reports that have yet to be confirmed.

She is the 17th trans woman on our list this year.. As of today, a trans person has died in our country every seven days this year.

Liara was murdered by her former partner. By my accounts, there have been five victims of similar violence at the hands of a spouse, lover, or family member. The threat to our trans neighbors does not always come from the external world.

Rest in power, Liara. You brought so much to this world, so much comfort for the afflicted, and so much creativity and joy. I regret that the world was not kinder to you. You deserved and we needed you to have many more years in our community.

May your memory be a revolution.

This is Our List

This is our list of transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming neighbors who have been victims of the campaign of terror in 2024. Please do not copy, modify, or share this list without attribution.

  1. Kitty Monroe – January 1, 2024. Phoenix, Arizona. Age 43.
  2. Nex Benedict – February 8, 2024. Owasso, Oklahoma. Age 16.
  3. Righteous Torrence ‘T K’ Chevy Hill – February 29, Atlanta. Georgia. Age 35.
  4. Reyna Hernandez – Between Feb 28 and March 28, location TBD. Age 54.
  5. Diamond Cherish Brigman – March 16, 2024, Houston, Texas. Age 36.
  6. Alex Franco – March 19, 2024. Salt Lake City, Utah. Age 21.
  7. Meraxes Medina – March 19, 2024, Los Angeles, California. Age 24.
  8. Cecilia Gentili – February 6, 2024, New YorkCity, New York. Age 52.
  9. Ryan Zimmerman – Sept 2015, Columbus OH Age 21 Murdered 2016, Identified 2020, reported 2024.
  10. Lagend Billions aka Tee Arnold – April 7, 2024, Miami, Ohio. Age 36.
  11. África Parrilla García – February 2, 2024, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Age 25.
  12. Nevaeh ‘River’ Goddard – April 5, 2024,. Stow, Massachusetts. Age 17,
  13. Andrea Doria Dos Passos – April 22, 2024, Miami, Florida. Age 37.
  14. Sasha Williams – January 26, 2024, Las Vegas, Nevada. Age 36.
  15. Kita Bee – May 3, 2024, Kansas City, Missouri. Age 46.
  16. Starr Brown – April 19, Memphis, Tennessee. Age 28.
  17. Jazlynn Johnson – May 6, 2024, Carson City, Nevada. Age 18.
  18. Michelle Henry – May 15, 2024, San Francisco, California. Age 25.
  19. Unknown Name – June 17, Denver, Colorado. Age unknown.
  20. Paris Rich Jessup – 13 June 2022, San Diego, California. Age 25.
  21. Kit Nelson-Mora, – 2021/2022 Washington State, 2022. Age 18.
  22. Niomi Jenkins – May 2024 San Francisco
  23. Tayy Dior Thomas – May 7, 2024, Mobile, Alabama. Age 17
  24. Pauly Likens – June 23, 2024, Sharon, Pennsylvania. Age 14
  25. Shannon Boswell – July 2, 2024, Atlanta, Georgia. Age 30.
  26. Liara Kaylee Tsai – June 22, 2024, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Age 35.
Trans deaths


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