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2021 Tally of Trans Killing Climbs: Bianca Bankz, Alexis Braxton, Others Murdered

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday February 9, 2021

Though 2021 is less than six weeks old, the year's tally of lethal anti-trans violence continues to climb at an alarming clip. Four transwomen of color have been murdered in a span of just under three weeks, with the year's total already reaching at least half a dozen victims.

LGTBQ outlets and blogs have covered many of the killings, with the Human Rights Campaign keeping a running tally, as the group has done now for years.

Bianca "Muffin" Banks was "shot to death in Atlanta, Ga. on January 17," the HRC reported. Banks was murdered "by a man in her home, who ultimately took his own life," the Trans Housing Coalition reported in an Instagram post.

Dominique Jackson was gunned down in Jackson, Miss., on Jan. 25. "According to her Facebook, Dominique was the Mother of the Hause of Redd, and the Founder of The Ladi Redd Inc.," the HRC reported in a release about her killing.

Local news channel WAPT reported that Jackson, 30, was found shot to death "inside a vehicle that had crashed into a utility pole," and added that no suspects were in custody as yet. The ACLU called for "legislators to expand Mississippi's hate crime law to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected categories" in the wake of her slaying.

Fifty Bandz, 21, was shot and killed in BatonRouge on Jan. 28. "According to local media reports, Fifty was killed by a man with whom she had been in a relationship for more than a year," the HRC noted in a news release. The HRC also noted that "In 2020, approximately seven in ten transgender and gender non-conforming people killed as a result of fatal violence were killed by an acquaintance, friend, family member or intimate partner."

Local newspaperThe Advocate reported that Bandz was murdered by Michael Joshua Brooks, 20, with whom she had been "in a relationship" and "who had threatened her life in the past." Brooks was taken into custody.

On Feb. 4, Alexus Braxton became the latest known victim of lethal anti-trans violence when she was found dead in Miami. Also known as Kimmy Icon Braxton, Alexus had posted photos and a fashion message to Facebook the day before she was found dead, writing, "I'm A Trendsetter I Can Pull Off Colors Like This and Stills Comfortable With Myself". Local police declined to provide any details about her death, citing their ongoing investigation, news sources said.

Two other victims were killed earlier in January. Tyianna "Davarea" Alexander, a transgender woman of color, was shot and killed in Chicago by a gunman in a passing car on Jan. 6; less than a week later, on Jan. 11, the body of Samuel Edmund Damián, a transman, was discovered with numerous bullet wounds in Puerto Rico.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.