At least 20 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been fatally shot or killed in 2021.
Natalia Smut, Iris Santos, Tiffany Thomas, and Keri Washington are the latest individuals that have tragically died due to fatal violence.
Natalia Smut was killed on April 23 in Milpitas, California. The 24-year-old was a celebrated drag artist in the San Jose LGBTQ community.
Her local community described her as a “motivating and creative spirit” with “captivating performances” and a “love for advocacy within the community.”
Iris Santos, a 22-year-old Latinx transgender woman was killed in Texas on April 23. Iris was attacked by an unidentified suspect while she was sitting at a picnic table outside of a restaurant. The 22-year-old later died at a nearby hospital due to the gunshot wound.
Tiffany Thomas is believed to be at least the 19th violent death of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2021. Family and friends described the 38-year-old as having a “big heart” and “funny”.
Naomi Green, Abounding Prosperity in Dallas called for a change in the Dallas community. “I am saddened to learn of another senseless murder of a member of our LGBTQ+ community in the Dallas area. Though there are still questions surrounding all the details of their death, regardless of how they identified no one deserves to have their life cut short in this way.
“My heart goes out to their family and friends as they mourn the death of their loved one, and I hope and pray that they receive the justice and peace they deserve. As an entire Dallas community, we have to do better!”
Keri Washington, a 49-year-old Black transgender woman, was found dead in Florida on May 1. The body of Washington was found behind one of the apartment buildings, according to Newsweek.
Clearwater Police Department has made a public appeal calling for information on the suspect who is believed to have an extensive criminal record. They have asked anyone with information to contact 727-562-4242 or use tip411 if they can help.