Trans woman who was ‘bright and full of life’ killed in yet another senseless act of violence

A Black trans woman has been shot and killed in Georgia, becoming the 21st known trans person to have been senselessly murdered in the US this year.

On Wednesday (20 July), Keshia Chanel Geter was travelling with a friend when she was brutally shot by Jaquarie Allen outside a Knights Inn in Augusta, as reported by Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

Allen was arrested shortly after the crime and charged with murder and possession of a firearm by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

Geter’s family have started a campaign in the waker of her death to fight for transgender rights. Geter’s mother, Michelle Jordan, posted a video on YouTube saying: “It doesn’t matter how a person looks, the colour of their skin, if they’re Black, white or trans, Christian or Jew, it doesn’t matter.

“No one should ever take somebody’s life because of what they are.”

Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative, vehemently condemned the killing of Keshia Chanel Geter and spoke about her “bright and full life” cut too soon.

“Keshia Chanel Geter lived her truth as a Black transgender woman. She should still be alive today to embrace those she loved and continue living a bright and full life. Instead, Keshia was fatally shot and then suffered the indignity of being misgendered by the media.

“We demand that more be done to protect Black transgender women so we can live our lives fully without violence, harassment or discrimination. It’s about respect and honour – treating everyone the way you would want to be treated.”

The violence against trans and gender non-conforming people continues to be rife as Geter’s death is the 21st reported, however HRC states that there could be many more killings that go unreported.

While the US continues to be a hostile place for many trans people, a report by HRC found that most victims are killed by people closest to them. Between 2013 to 2021, two-thirds of trans and gender non-conforming people were murdered by an acquaintance, friend, family member or intimate partner.

Intimate partners accounted for 21 per cent of the murders and HRC noted this is an underestimation as there are many crimes that go unreported.

Trans people of colour are disproportionately impacted by the violence, with 73 per cent of gun homicides of transgender and gender non-conforming people being Black trans women.

In Georgia, where Keshia Chanel Geter was murdered, trans people have few rights. While Georgia’s hate crimes law includes sexual orientation, it does not explicitly cover gender identity.