Cypress Ramos was found dead in Texas, making her at least the third trans or gender non-conforming person to be killed in America in 2022.
Content warning: This story may include topics that could make some readers feel uncomfortable.
The Latina woman “died after being struck with a hard object,” KCBD reported.
She was found in Lubbock, Texas on 13 February and a man has since been charged with her murder.
Security camera footage caught him entering a storage unit with another person and coming out alone, which police used to identify and locate him.
Camilla Urbina, a friend of the victim who works as a drag performer, told KCBD that Ramos would regularly come to her shows and once took a video of one of her performances.
“Now that I have a video that she does have, that was from her hands, it just means so much more,” she said. “I think, if anything, I could say like that was my number one fan.”
She added that Ramos was well-loved in the LGBTQ+ community and that she will miss her friend’s infectious smile.
Another friend of the victim told Equality Texas that Ramos “was always smiling”.
“She was so tiny so it felt like my arms wrapped around her 3 times,” they continued. “She was so drama free — never in any anyone else’s problems. She just loved everyone.”
Tori Cooper, the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, called Ramos’ death “an awful end to such a young life.”
“Her story highlights how trans women of colour are still devalued in our society,” Cooper continued. “We must all work to end the epidemic of violence against transgender and non-binary people. May justice be served in this case.”
At least 53 transgender or gender non-conforming people were fatally shot or killed by other violent means – with the actual number expected to be far higher as these stories often go misreported or unreported entirely.
According to the HRC, in 2020 approximately seven in ten transgender and gender non-conforming people killed as a result of fatal violence were killed by an acquaintance, friend, family member or intimate partner.