Black trans woman’s “senseless” murder sets record for anti-trans violence in one year

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As with many other trans people violently killed, reports deadnamed and misgendered Marquiisha Lawrence following her death.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has officially declared 2021 to be the deadliest year on record since the organization began tracking murders or violent deaths of transgender people. The latest victim counted by HRC is Marquiisha Lawrence, a 28-year old Black trans woman from South Carolina, who is at least the 45th victim of anti-trans violence in 2021.

Lawrence was found dead on November 4, 2021, after being shot in her home following what authorities believe was an altercation between her and at least one other individual. Like many of the other victims to anti-trans violence in America, Lawrence was deadnamed and misgendered following her death by family and media.

Lawrence was also known as “Quii” and “Queet,” and as a “very humbled, free thinker who was loved by many.” She was remembered by her trans mother Eboni Sinclaire as “a young trans woman, at the beginning of this game called life, as WE know it in the trans community.”

Instead, she “like so many who have gone before her, fell victim to a senseless murder,” Sinclaire mourned.

Despite that and Lawrence identifying as a woman on her own social media, she was still reported as a “man” and deadnamed by the office of Greenville County Coroner, Bobby Park Evans, and subsequently in reports by local media publications.

“Marquiisha was clearly loved by so many. She deserved to live, but her life was stolen from us far too soon,” Tori Cooper, the director of community engagement for the HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative, said in a statement recognizing Lawrence’s death.

“We must commit to honoring trans lives and ending the horrific epidemic of violence that plagues our community. Marquiisha deserved nothing less than our full commitment to building a better future for trans people,” she added.

Sinclaire recalled that Lawrence last told her, “I’ve not always been the best I could be, but thank you for caring enough to still be here for me.”

“She will forever be remembered by her infectious smile and her heart of gold. Her favorite thing to do was to cook because she felt it filled the belly and fed the heart,” Sinclaire also said.

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