Two trans women have been murdered within days of one another, becoming the latest victims of what is now the deadliest year for transgender violence.
Brooklyn DeShuna was killed in Shreveport, Louisiana, on October 7 as a result of a gunshot wound.
She was a cosmetology student at Bossier Parish Community College who is remembered by friends as a “genuinely a good person”.
“Brooklyn was just 20 years old, at the beginning of her life. She did not deserve to have that life taken from her,” said Tori Cooper of the Human Rights Campaign.
“Not one of the trans and gender non-conforming people who have been killed this year deserved to have their lives taken from them.”
A few days later her death was followed by that of Sara Blackwood, who was shot on October 11 as she walked home from her shift at an Indianapolis Long John Silver’s.
Friends speaking to Planet Trans described her as a shy trans woman who wasn’t on social media very much but loved anime.
Blackwood’s family know little about her final moments, only that she was still alive when paramedics arrived at the scene, but died during emergency surgery.
Tragically she was misgendered in death, with both the Indianapolis Metro Police Department and local news station CBS4 originally reporting her murder as that of a man.
Smith and Blackwood’s murders mark at least the 32nd and 33rd violent deaths of trans people this year, making 2020 the deadliest year since the Human Rights Campaign’s records began.
“This epidemic of violence, which is particularly impacting transgender women of colour, must and can be stopped,” said HRC President Alphonso David in a statement.
“We must work to address the factors that underpin this culture of violence and openly discuss how the intersection of racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia work to deprive transgender and gender non-conforming people of equal access to opportunity and necessities like employment, housing and health care.”
Anyone with information regarding Sara Blackwood’s death is asked to contact police on 317-327-3811. For Brooklyn DeShauna’s death, please contact 318-673-6955.