The transgender community is mourning the loss of 29-year-old Denali Berries Stuckey whose body was found on the side of the road in South Carolina Saturday.
Stuckey’s death, which has been ruled a homicide by the coroner’s office, is now the 12th murder of a black trans woman this year, and the third trans woman to be killed in the state since 2008.
Chase Glenn, the Executive Director of South Carolina’s LGBTQ group Full Acceptance, said in a statement to NBC that the deaths of trans women is now an “epidemic.”
“While the greater community may be either unaware or disinterested in this news, it is important to understand the epidemic of violence against trans women of color and the crisis point at which we are now and have been for years,” Glenn said. “We refuse to become numb. We will continue to say the names of these women and remember them how they would have wanted to be remembered.”
Per a Human Rights Campaign Report, more than 2,300 transgender women have been killed internationally, with a majority of the deaths affecting women of color.
“The “intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia conspire to deprive them of employment, housing, health care, and other necessities, barriers that make them vulnerable.”
Earlier in July Brooklyn Lindsey, a black trans woman was found on a porch of an abandoned Kansas City, Missouri home shot to death. The 32-year-old’s body was discovered and her death was also ruled a homicide.
A motive for Stuckey’s murder has not been determined, however, police say the killing and the suspect’s vehicle were caught on surveillance camera.
Gerardo Thomas, 33, faces first-degree murder charges. Police have not been able to identify why the Baltimore resident was in South Carolina. However, he will appear before a judge on August 9.