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People We’ve Lost in 2022: Violence Against LGBT+ Celebrities

It is vital to mourn the senseless violence committed against members of the LGBTQ+ community in 2022, a year in which the LGBTQ+ community endured several tragedies. According to the Human Rights Campaign, nearly one in five hate crimes are now motivated by anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry.

The most serious instance of such violence in 2022 was a mass shooting on November 20 at Club Q in Colorado Springs that claimed five lives.

On November 20, Transgender Day of Remembrance, news surfaced of a horrific shooting at the LGBTQ+ bar Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Two transgender persons, Daniel Aston, 28, and Kelly Loving, 40, were among the fatalities. Friends and family mourn and remember the deceased, including Ashley Pugh, 35, Derrick Rump, 38, and Raymond Green Vance, 22.

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That evening, customers joined Club Q for a drag show and a night of fun when a lone gunman opened fire for six minutes until father and club performer Richard Fierro subdued the attacker. The assailant was responsible for five deaths and nineteen injuries.

In 2022, according to the Human Rights Campaign, 35 transgender and gender non-conforming individuals were murdered. At least 57, a record number, trans and gender-nonconforming people’s lives were reported lost, according to the organization.

Unfortunately, these statistics are likely underreported due to a lack of accurate identification as transgender or gender non-conforming by the media, law enforcement, and others.

The bravery and authenticity of the victims are honored below.

Diamond Jackson-McDonald: Diamond Jackson-McDonald, 27 years old, is remembered as a proud Black trans woman, a caring individual, and a “jewel.”

Diamond’s mother, Linda Jackson, told the local magazine Philly Voice, “I just want the world to know that Diamond was my rock, my shoulder, and my kid that I love with every ounce of what I have left to offer.” On the Thanksgiving holiday, November 24, she was shot and died in Philadelphia.

Daniel Aston: Daniel Aston, age 28, was a transgender male and one of two transgender individuals murdered in the Colorado Springs Club Q shooting on November 20. He was “letting free and sliding around the stage” as a well-known bartender at Club Q. Daniel labored diligently to amuse customers and make Club Q a friendly environment. Daniel was characterized by his parents as “the happiest he had ever been.”

Kelly Loving: Kelly Loving, 40, was one of two transgender women killed in the Club Q shooting in Colorado Springs on November 20. Tiffany, her sister, characterized Kelly as kind, saying that she was “always wanting to assist the next person instead of focusing on herself.” She was simply a loving individual.”

Tiffany Banks: Tiffany Banks, 25 years old, was characterized by her friends and family as a “sociable and beautiful butterfly” because she always placed others before herself. Tiffany was a Black trans woman who enjoyed singing and dancing, and there was “never a boring time” while she was there.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, Tiffany was slain in Miami on October 1 and is the fourth victim of violence against Black transgender individuals in Florida this year. Her passing comes after that of Semaj Billingslea, Nedra Sequence, and Duval Princess.

Acey Morrison:  Acey Morrison, age 30, self-identified as a two-spirit person, a designation within indigenous North American tribes denoting the possession of both male and feminine souls. Acey is remembered as a “kindhearted, down-to-earth, joyful, courteous, and loving spirit” who was “always there for her family and friends” and “a helpful and generous person.”

On August 21, Acey was shot and killed in Rapid City, South Dakota. As is usual in many situations involving transgender or gender non-conforming victims, the media incorrectly identified Acey’s gender after her death.

Dede Ricks: On August 27, Dede Ricks, age 33, was shot and died in Detroit. She was discovered at her residence just before 3:40 a.m. The office of the Wayne County Prosecutor said that a suspect was detained and charged with second-degree murder and criminal firearm possession.

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