NCAVP mourns the death of Giovanni Melton, a 14-year-old gay Black teenager who was killed on October 2nd, 2017. According to media reports, Giovanni was fatally shot by his father, Wendell Melton, over Giovanni’s sexuality and the fact that Giovanni had a boyfriend. His former foster mother, Sonja Jones, said: “Giovanni was abused physically and mentally and spiritually for many, many years.”
We mourn the loss of Giovanni Melton, who at 14, is the youngest LGBTQ person we have lost to hate violence and domestic violence this year, and send love and care to his friends and loved ones. Giovanni was remembered as a selfless friend who brought joy to everyone he met, and we are saddened that such a young light has been lost.
We must work to create and protect safe, supportive, and affirming environments for LGBTQ youth at all points in their lives. And we must do the difficult work of reaching out to the people we know and love in order to address the homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia that persists in our communities of color and other marginalized identities.
In memory of Giovanni Melton.
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.