LaKendra Andrews, a Dallas Black Trans Woman, Was Killed in April


This article contains descriptions of fatal violence against Black trans women.

The April shooting death of a 26-year-old Black trans woman went unreported until this week, due to her being misgendered and deadnamed in initial media reports.

LaKendra Andrews was shot in Dallas, Texas shortly after 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 29, according to the Dallas Police Department. Dallas Fire-Rescue was called to her location, yet she died on the scene, according to police reports. Her death went unreported by LGBTQ+ media for over six months until Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, a website that tracks anti-trans violence, reported on her death earlier this month.

Andrews, who was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana, had moved to Texas with her family and attended Dallas College while there, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents writes. Andrews had a range of interests, including baking, cooking, dancing, drawing, and music.

“LaKendra was proud of her identity, describing herself as a ‘beautiful single trans woman.’ Her life was violently stolen from her at such a young age, and it is terrible that we are only learning of her death just days before this year’s Trans Day of Remembrance,” Tori Cooper, director of community engagement at the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement obtained by The Advocate. “Law enforcement has a duty not to deadname or misgender transgender and gender non-conforming people. LaKendra deserved to live, and she deserves to be honored in death. We must all strive to create communities where transgender and gender non-conforming people are safe, respected, and valued.”

A member of the transgender and LGBTQ community during the vigil of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, in Kampala, Uganda in 2019.
A member of the transgender and LGBTQ community during the vigil of the Transgender Day of Remembrance, in Kampala, Uganda in 2019.

The global report showed that 94% of victims were trans women or transfeminine people.

Andrews is the at least 36th transgender or gender nonconforming person whose violent death has been reported in the United States this year, according to a tally kept by Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents. Of those killed, she is the 29th trans woman, the 20th Black person, and the 15th Black trans woman.

Reports of Andrews’ death and trans identity came around the same time as Trans Day of Remembrance, an annual observance of those who have been lost to anti-trans violence. A report released yesterday recorded over 300 killings of trans people globally in the past year. Andrews’ death serves as a reminder that police and media misreporting makes the scope of the anti-trans violence epidemic hard to truly grasp, and that for those whose deaths we know and can grieve, there are many more trans people lost to violence whose names go unspoken.

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