NCAVP mourns the death of Natalia Smüt, a 24-year-old Afro-Latinx trans woman in San Jose, CA

NCAVP mourns the death of Natalia Smüt, a 24-year-old Afro-Latinx trans woman who was murdered by her partner on April 23 in San Jose, CA. Shortly after harming Natalia, boyfriend Elijah Cruz Segura contacted the police for help, where he confessed to injuring her. Despite attention from paramedics and firemen on scene, Natalia died shortly after being transported to the hospital.

Natalia was a drag performer and artist of Puerto Rican descent. Her Instagram indicates that she was also a rapper, and belonged to the Haus of Smut. Several loved ones are commenting on recent posts by Natalia, mourning her loss. They write “you deserved so much more,” and “We’re gonna make sure you get justice.” One friend, Kaira Ohlde, has organized a GoFundMe on Natalia’s behalf, to raise money for funeral services and her family – specifically her older sister Vanessa Singh. On Twitter, someone named Cindy Campbell has posted a thread honoring  Natalia’s life – her work as a “fire cracker” performer, how she put Cindy in drag for the first time, and ultimately mourning that Natalia was “taken too soon.” 

NCAVP stands in solidarity with Black trans women, and we know that it is always hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. We know this can be even more painful when there continues to be an unchecked epidemic of homicides of Black trans women, as police violence is escalating against Black and brown people, and our nation continues to be grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic that highlights long standing healthcare disparities for Black and brown 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.