NCAVP mourns the death of Tyianna Alexander, a 28-year-old Black transgender woman in Chicago, IL

NCAVP mourns the death of Tyianna Alexander, a 28-year-old Black transgender woman who was fatally shot by a gunman in a moving vehicle on January 6 in Chicago, IL. Tyianna was pronounced dead on the scene, while a man who was with Tyianna, Brandon Gowdy, was transported to the hospital after being struck in the arm, and was later pronounced dead.

Tyianna marks the first death by violence of a trans person in 2021 – just over a week after another Black transgender woman, Courtney “Eshay” Key was murdered by gun violence in the same area. Several activist orgs have spoken out on Tyianna’s death, both on its closeness to Courtney’s and on the epidemic of violence ravaging the trans community. “I am really tired of seeing us get killed,” said Beverly Ross, a trans advocate who knew Tyianna personally. Beverly adds that Tyianna “loved to dance, had a great sense of humor, enjoyed life when she could, and just wanted to be able to ‘vibe and thrive,’”’ in a statement released by the National Black Justice Coalition. On social media, friends write that they love and miss Tyianna, “the life of the party.”

A memorial service is being planned for Tyianna on January 15th, and an investigation into the crime is currently being conducted.

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.