Transgender Day of Remembrance


   In November 28th, 1998, black transgender woman Rita Hester was murdered in Allston, Massachusetts. She was a very strong, well-liked, key member of the community of gender diverse persons in the area, and her shocking death was brutally felt.


In 1999, to memorialize that brutal act, the Transgender Day of Remembrance was created by Gwendolyn Ann Smith, and in the nearly 20 years it has been observed, has become a globally-held event and one of the two key transgender points each year.

Between November 21st of 2017 and November 20th of 2018, 318 transgender persons have been murdered worldwide, an increase of nearly 60% over 2017 and nearly double the rate since 2013. 

Since 2008, 2982 transgender persons have been murdered worldwide, and this count is only those who are reported in the media as transgender persons – which is still not a standard practice, even in the United States. The vast majority of them continue to go unsolved and unremarked except by those who gather every year to remember those we have lost to the aversion to, anxiety regarding, and animus towards transgender people.


The following is a list of transgender persons who have been reported murdered in the United States this year. The murder of transgender persons is often brutal, frequently described as “overkill”, and most often accompanied by broad disrespect and a lack of concern for justice.


This year, in the United States, the following murders have been reported:


  • Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, 42, was the first known case of deadly violence against the transgender community in 2018. A local news outlet reported that she was found dead in her home on a Friday night in North Adams, Massachusetts.

  • Vicky Gutierrez, 33, was the second reported transgender person killed in the United States in 2018. She died after being stabbed and her apartment in Los Angeles set on fire while she and her dog were trapped inside.

  • Tonya Harvey, 35, was the third known transgender person to be murdered in 2018. Harvey was shot to death shortly before 5:30 pm in Buffalo, New York.

  • Celine Walker, 36, was shot to death in Jacksonville, Florida on February 4, 2018. Sources claim that Walker's body was found with fatal gunshot wounds in an Extended Stay America hotel at about 8 p.m. and pronounced dead at the scene. Additionally, Walker's family and friends publicly shared their disgust toward the Jacksonville Sheriff's Department and the Florida Sun Times-Union misgendering her.

  • Phylicia Mitchell, 45, was shot in the chest around 6 p.m. outside her home on West 112th Street near Detroit Avenue, in the Cleveland's Edgewater neighborhood.

  • Zakaria Fry, 28, was found dead in the town of Stanley, New Mexico, on February 19, 2018. She went missing in New Mexico in mid-January, and her body was later found 40 miles outside of Albuquerque on February 19. Rancher Fidel Montoya found one body in a trash bin along the road, and another body was recovered about two miles away. Police confirmed them to be Fry and her roommate Eugene Ray on Tuesday, February 27, 2018.

  • Amia Tyrae Berryman, 28, suffered multiple fatal gunshot wounds outside of a motel in East Baton Rouge, Louisiana on March 26, 2018. 

  • Sasha Wall, 29, was the eighth known transgender person to be murdered in 2018. Sasha was fatally shot on April 1 in Chesterfield County, South Carolina. Her body was found with multiple gunshot wounds, slumped over her car's steering wheel on Sunday, April 1, 2018.

  • Carla Patricia Flores-Pavon, 18, was strangled to death in her Dallas apartment May 9.

  • Nino Fortson, 36, a transgender man, was fatally shot multiple times during an argument on May 13 in Atlanta, Georgia.

  • Antash'a English, 38, known to friends as Antash'a, died June 1, 2018, in Jacksonville, Florida.

  • Gigi Pierce, 28, a transgender woman, was fatally shot May 22, in Portland, Oregon.

  • Cathalina Christina James, 24, was found shot dead in a hotel on the Southside of Jacksonville, Florida on June 24, 2018.

  • Diamond Stephens, 39, a Black transgender woman, was shot to death on June 18, in Meridian, Mississippi.

  • Keisha Wells, 54, died in a parking lot due to a gunshot wound to the abdomen on June, 23 in Cleveland, Ohio.

  • Sasha Garden, 27, a transgender woman, was found dead in Orlando, Florida on July 19.

  • Dejanay Stanton, 24, was shot to death early in the morning of August 30, on the south side of Chicago, Illinois.

  • Vontashia Bell, 18, suffered a fatal gunshot wound August 30, in Shreveport, Louisiana.

  • Shantee Tucker, 30, was shot to death September 5, on a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, street by someone firing from inside a pickup truck.

  • London Moore, 20, was found shot to death September 8, in North Port, Florida.

  • Nikki Enriquez, 28, of Laredo, Texas, was found dead near Interstate 35 in south Texas on September 15.

  • Ciara Minaj Carter Frazier, 31, of Chicago, Illinois, was found dead with stab wounds on October 3, in the West Garfield Park neighborhood.                 


Borrego Health Remembers Our Dead in solidarity with the Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Community.

BCHF is a Federally Qualified Health Center and a Federal Tort Claims Act Deemed organization. The Federal Government is the primary insurer.
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