Trans woman shot dead in ‘gruesome’ attack is 36th trans person killed in the US in 2021

Disaya Monaee poses in front of the camera in a brown room

A Black trans woman named Disaya Monaee was shot to death in Chicago, Illinois, marking the 36th violent death of a trans person in the US in 2021.

Disaya Monaee was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds at around 4am on 6 September. She was discovered outside the Prestige Inn and Suites along 1355 East Sibley Boulevard in the leafy suburb of Dolton.

The 32-year-old was later pronounced dead just after 5am at Franciscan Health hospital in Hammon. Dolton Police detectives are investigating the incident, but no arrests have been made at the time of writing.

Family members told 5Chicago that the crime scene was “gruesome”.

“At the hotel room door you can tell the struggle was at the door it was not inside the hotel room,” Latrina Banks, Monaee’s mother, said.

“There’s blood, there’s like a trail of blood at the entranceway right there from the hallway area.”

Banks’ daughter transitioned shortly after graduating high school in 2014, she said. Her family welcomed her, making it all the harder that her life was so tragically cut short.

“Whoever knows anything about my baby’s murder please tell,” Banks added. “Y’all took the best thing ever from me.”

Activists decry ‘appalling’ killing of Disaya Monaee

Monaee was described by family and community leaders as a “sweet individual” who was outgoing and sociable. “She loved to take care of people, Banks said, “she’s been like that ever since she was little.”

She is, at the very least, the 36th trans, non-binary or gender non-conforming person to have been murdered in the US this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which has been monitoring the killings. Across the whole of 2020, that figure was 44.

“At least”, the HRC say, because with deadnaming and misgendering remaining rife in police and press reports, the real figure can be impossible to grasp.

In the nine months, the community has mourned: Tyianna AlexandraSamuel Edmund Damián ValentínBianca BankzDominique JacksonFifty BandzAlexus BraxtonChyna CarrilloJeffrey ‘JJ’ Bright, Jasmine Cannady, Jenna Franks, Diamond ‘Kyree’ SandersRayanna PardoDominique LuciousJaida PetersonRemy FennellTiara BanksNatalia Smüt, Iris SantosTiffany ThomasJahaira DeAlto BalenciagaKeri WashingtonSophie Vásquez, Danny HensonWhispering Bear Spirit, Serenity HollisOliver ‘Ollie’ TaylorThomas HardinPoe BlackNovaa Watson, Aidelen Evans, Taya AshtonShai Vanderpump, Tierramarie Lewis, Miss CoCo and Pooh Johnson.

In the death of Natasha Keianna, investigators have not ruled out homicide, but details remain sparse at the time of writing. Haven Bailey was also fatally shot by police in May.

“The epidemic of violence plaguing the transgender community, particularly Black transgender women, is appalling,” Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the group’s Transgender Justice Initiative told PinkNews.

“It is often the result of a toxic combination of transphobia, racism and misogyny.

“We must do more to protect trans lives and provide resources to support the trans community.”