NCAVP mourns the deaths of Zakaria Fry and Carrell Ray in Sante Fe, NM

NCAVP mourns the deaths of Zakaria Fry, 28, and Carrell Ray, 70; whose bodies were found on February 19, 2018 in Sante Fe, NM. According to media reports, Fry and Ray – who were roommates in Albuquerque, NM – were reported missing since January 18, 2018 after Ray’s children visited the residence and found large amounts of blood. Albuquerque police have classified this as a double homicide. Police have arrested Charles Spiess, also known as James Knight, and charged him with two counts of murder.

Friends and family described Fry as a fun-spirited and loving person. Ray worked as an attorney for 40 years and was described by children and former co-workers as kind and caring.

We mourn the losses of Fry and Ray and send love and care to their friends, family, and loved ones.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

 

NCAVP mourns the death of Ta’Ron “Rio” Carson in Kansas City, MO

NCAVP mourns the death of Ta’Ron “Rio” Carson, 24, of Kansas City, MO. Carson, a black gay man, was shot and killed on March 5, 2018 at approximately 3:00am. According to media reports, police are working with federal investigators to determine whether or not this is a hate crime.

Carson had been at a nightclub with friends who were not aware of any conflicts or problems by the time he left but feared he may have been killed due to his sexual orientation. After leaving, he walked to a convenience store where the incident occurred.

The Kansas City Anti-Violence Project released a statement about the death of Ta’Ron saying, “Kansas City’s LGBTQ+ community is devastated to learn of the suspected hate-driven murder of Ta’Ron “Rio” Carson…This tragedy has left us heartbroken and is especially painful for Kansas City’s Black and Latinx LGBTQ+ people, as Rio was well known and celebrated across these communities.”

A candlelight vigil and walk was held where friends and community members honored Carson and his life. We send love and care to his family and loved ones.

In memory of Ta’Ron “Rio” Carson.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

NCAVP mourns the death of Phylicia Mitchell in Cleveland, OH

NCAVP mourns the death of Phylicia Mitchell, who was shot and killed outside of her home in Cleveland, OH on Friday, February 23, 2018. According to media reports, no arrests have been made and the motive remains under investigation. Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO) is working with Cleveland area organizations and individuals to offer support and assistance.

“Our hearts, minds and condolences are with Phylicia’s chosen family, friends, and community in this time of tragedy. We at BRAVO are saddened and outraged as our communities continue to be targeted, and we remain steadfast in providing services to the LGBTQI communities of Ohio. We must continue to come together as a broad community of support until hate has no home in Ohio, until hate has no home anywhere,” says Aaron Eckhardt, in a statement released by BRAVO.

Phylicia Mitchell, 46, worked as a hairstylist and her longtime partner, Shane Mitchell, described her as a loving and kind person.

We mourn the loss of Phylicia Mitchell. We send love and care to her family, friends, and loved ones.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

 

NCAVP mourns the death of Celine Walker in Jacksonville, FL

NCAVP mourns the death of Celine Walker, 36-year old black transgender woman, of Brandon, FL. Walker was found dead as a result of a gunshot wound at a hotel in Jacksonville, FL on the evening of February 4, 2018. Local media reports misgendered Walker but friends called the Jacksonville Sheriff’s office to correct the error. Investigators are still looking for a suspect(s) at this time.

It’s vital that media and police accurately gender and name people when reporting on LGBTQ homicides to honor their lives and to accurately provide information to the community. Misgendering and/or deadnaming can attribute to the misreporting, or lack of reporting, of deaths of transgender people and hate violence related incidents.

Walker’s friends shared their condolences on social media and describe her as “low-key” and “amazingly talented.” We send our love and care to her family and loved ones.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

 

 

NCAVP mourns the death of Isaac Herrera in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

NCAVP mourns the death of Isaac Herrera, who was fatally stabbed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on January 9, 2018. According to media reports, Herrera, 24, was fatally stabbed during a sexual encounter with 18-year-old Brandon Newell, who confessed to the murder and who has been arrested though not yet formally charged.

We mourn the loss of Isaac Herrera, and send his friends and family love and care in the wake of his death. Isaac was a theater student at Oklahoma City Community College, a member of the school’s LGBT community, and was remembered as a budding actor who was “a friend to all that knew him.”

In 2017, NCAVP reported an increase in hook-up related homicides, especially against bisexual and gay cisgender men. We must address the effect of hook-up violence on our LGBTQ communities, especially as our networks move online and our community members continue to meet and hook up in a variety of ways. We must not only spread awareness about this form of violence, but promote affirming messages around sex, sexuality and safety, and create safe spaces for our communities.

In memory of Isaac Herrera.

A fund has been set up to help Isaac’s mother, Veronica Myers, with burial expenses. Donate here.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. Read the full list here.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

NCAVP mourns the death of Blaze Bernstein in Orange County, California

NCAVP mourns the loss of Blaze Bernstein, who was stabbed to death in Orange County, California, in early January, 2018. According to media reports, 19-year-old Blaze Bernstein disappeared on January 2, 2018, after being picked up in a car by school classmate Samuel Lincoln Woodward, 20. Bernstein’s body was discovered on January 9 and Woodward was arrested on January 12 after police identified Bernstein’s blood on a possession in Woodward’s car. Woodward is reported to have thought Bernstein was making sexual advances toward him, and police are investigating the killing as an “act of rage.”

We mourn the loss of Blaze Bernstein and send love and care to his friends, family, and loved ones. Blaze was remembered by hundreds at a vigil in Irvine on January 15, 2018. “Those who spoke described Bernstein’s gift as a writer, his love of food and cooking, his humor and his never-ending ability to inspire others by simply helping them find the value within themselves,” wrote the Daily Breeze.

All too often, homophobia can lead to deadly violence. We condemn this act of hatred, and we discourage framing Bernstein’s murder as stemming from an “act of rage.” There is no such thing as gay panic or trans panic, and in fact, the “gay panic defense” is banned in two states, California and Illinois, and the American Bar Association suggests others follow suit. Knowledge of someone’s sexual or gender identity never justifies deadly violence. Rather, we must work to end homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia at all levels, to ensure that this deadly violence does not continue.

In memory of Blaze Bernstein.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. Read the full list here.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

NCAVP mourns the death of Viccky Gutierrez in Los Angeles, CA

NCAVP mourns the death of Viccky Gutierrez, who was killed in a fire police are describing as “suspicious” in Los Angeles on January 10, 2018. The Los Angeles Police Department announced on Friday, January 12 that they currently have a suspect in custody in relation to the fire. Bamby Salcedo, President of TransLatin@ Coalition, announced Viccky’s death in a Facebook post, writing: “It is with deep sadness, rage and pain that I have to share with all of you that one of our sisters was brutally murdered in #southlosangeles last night.” As the LAPD continues to investigate the fire, local activists including Salcedo as well as Mariana Marroquin at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Anti-Violence Project are working to ensure justice for Viccky.

 “It is a sad day for the transgender community after the death of Vicky Gutierrez, a young immigrant transgender woman from Honduras. Vicky was an active member and a leader in Los Angeles, where she found love and support away from her country and family,” said Mariana Marroquin, program manager of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Anti-Violence Project. “As one of the nation’s largest providers of services to empower and enhance the lives of transgender people, the Center along with other organization is working closely with Los Angeles Police Department to leave no stone unturned during the investigation of Vicky’s death. She deserves justice—and nothing less.”

We mourn the loss of Viccky Gutierrez, a Latina trans woman from Honduras who was remembered by friends as “the nicest girl in the world,” whose “smile would give anyone comfort,” and “an inspiration for many of us.” A vigil for Vicky has been scheduled for the evening of Friday, January 12, 2018.

In memory of Viccky Gutierrez.

A fund has been set up to send Viccky Gutierrez’s remains back to her family and provide for a funeral service. Donate to the fund here.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. Read the full list here.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

NCAVP Mourns the Homicide of Kaladaa Crowell and Kyra Inglett in West Palm Beach, Florida

NCAVP mourns the deaths of Kaladaa Crowell and her daughter, Kyra Inglett, who were fatally shot in West Palm Beach, FL, on December 28, 2017. According to media reports, Kaladaa Crowell, 36, and her 11-year-old daughter Kyra were shot by 26-year-old Marlin Joseph, the son of Crowell’s girlfriend, following an argument in their home. Joseph has been arrested and charged with the murders of Crowell and Inglett.

We mourn the loss of Kaladaa Crowell and her daughter, Kyra Inglett, and we send love and care to their family and loved ones. Kaladaa’s girlfriend, Robin Denson, described her as “the sweetest person” who would “give the shirt off her back to help anybody.” At a vigil, a friend remembered Kaladaa as “a hard-working young lady who had a beautiful daughter.” Kyra was remembered for her artistic talent and her spunky personality.

In the last week of December, four Black lesbian women—Shanta Myers, Brandi Mells, Kerrice Lewis, and Kaladaa Crowell—were killed. In the case of the Myers-Mells family and Crowell’s family, their children were also victims of this deadly violence. All too often, the identities and stories of lesbian women, especially Black lesbian women, are erased after their deaths. In drawing attention to these tragic deaths, we hope to not only bring awareness of the anti-LGBTQ violence taking place but also uplift the lives and identities of these members of our community. We take this as a call to be compassionate and respectful in honoring the identities of our community members in death- but to just as importantly support our friends and neighbors while they’re still with us.

In memory of Kaladaa Crowell and Kyra Inglett.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. Read the full list here.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

NCAVP mourns the intimate partner violence homicide of Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien in North Adams, Massachusetts

NCAVP mourns the death of Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, a white transgender woman who was killed by her husband on January 5, 2018 in North Adams, Massachusetts. She is the first transgender victim of deadly violence NCAVP has received a report of this year. According to media reports, Christa, who was 42, died of stabbing and blunt force trauma after a domestic dispute with 47-year-old Mark Steele-Knudslien, who has been charged with her murder.

We mourn the loss of Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien and send love and care to her friends and loved ones. Christa was beloved by and deeply involved with the local and national trans community and founded the Miss Trans America pageant and the Miss Trans New England pageant. Her death has spurred many activists to promote awareness of how intimate partner violence uniquely affects the transgender and gender non-conforming communities.

In a press release with Elizabeth Freeman Center, Safe Passage, and NELCWIT, Sabrina Santiago, Co-Executive Director of The Network/La Red said: “The LGBQ/T communities are no stranger to mourning the violent loss of community members. We talk about homicide, especially towards trans women, as hate crimes rooted in homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. However, we don’t talk about the LGBQ/T homicides that occur in relation to domestic violence. We need to start talking about the violence occurring within our communities.”

Though not often talked about, intimate partner violence (IPV) affects lesbian, bisexual, and gay people at the same or higher rates than non-LGB people. Transgender people in particular experience IPV at higher rates – about 30 to 50%, compared to 28 to 33% of the general population. However, LGBTQ people continue to experience discrimination and violence when accessing care and support around relationship violence.

Working together to support each other as a community, and helping support those who might be in abusive relationships, is crucial to helping prevent intimate partner violence before it escalates. In doing so, we must also work to enrich our narratives and models of what healthy, loving LGBTQ relationships look like, and support each other in understanding and learning that we are all deserving of love, as a community and as individuals.

In memory of Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. Read the full list here.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

NCAVP mourns the homicide of Kerrice Lewis in Washington, D.C

NCAVP mourns the death of Kerrice Lewis, who was murdered in Washington, D.C. on December 28, 2017. According to media reports, 23-year-old Kerrice Lewis, who identified as a butch lesbian woman, was shot before being locked in the trunk of a car, which was then set on fire. Though police and medics were called, Lewis died at the scene.

We mourn the loss of Kerrice Lewis, and send love and care to her family and loved ones. She was remembered by her grandfather as a “free spirit” who was “full of life” and that she would “light up a room, just talking and laughing.” Her best friend also spoke at length about Kerrice’s loving and caring nature.

All too often, the deaths of lesbian women, especially lesbian women of color and butch lesbians, are not spoken about or ignored. We seek to honor Kerrice’s identity as a Black, butch lesbian woman, and uplift her memory.

In memory of Kerrice Lewis.

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. Read the full list here.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.