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Venomous Political Atmosphere Leads To Mass Murder In Gay Club

Phil Garber
23 min readNov 23, 2022

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Hypocrisy and empty prayers for the dead once again fill the rancid air while the blood of 23 innocent people flows and the victims’ bodies are not yet cold.
On Saturday, a man with an AR-15-style rifle burst into Club Q, a popular hangout for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) community in Colorado Springs, Colo., and opened fire killing five and wounding 18 others. The city also is the headquarters of the homophobic, fundamentalist Christian organization, Focus on the Family.
The latest murderous rampage came a day before the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, a time to honor the memory of the transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of violence. The commemoration was started in 1999 by transgender advocate Gwendolyn Ann Smith as a vigil in memory of Rita Hester, a transgender woman who was killed in 1998.
Anderson Lee Aldrich, a 22-year-old former Texas man, has been arrested for the Colorado rampage. Aldrich is the grandson of Randy Voepel, a California Republican assemblyman who in the past has aligned himself with the tea party movement and spoken in favor of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Voepel lost his seat in November after a redistricting change altered his Riverside County district.
A day before the Colorado shootings, the owner of a New York City gay bar reported that the bar had been vandalized multiple times in recent days. David DeParolesa, the owner of VERS gay bar in Hell’s Kitchen, told the media that an unidentified man has thrown bricks at the windows of his bar three times in the last week, and four times overall.
“We urgently need to find this person before they escalate their attack or set their sights on our peers in the community,” DeParolesa said. “An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us, and we want to do everything in our power — right now — to keep other bars and queer spaces in the neighborhood safe.”

If there is anything to be learned from what is just the latest violence against the LGBTQ+ community, it is that it is hardly anything new and that politicians on the right continue to feed the fires of hatred that have too often cost lives.
The latest unexplained acts of violence did not lead some Republicans to recant their violent, anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric. Instead, they stayed the course.
One day after the attack, Georgia U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker made his case against the transgender community in a political ad that featured a female swimmer who competed against transgender swimmer Lia Thomas.
A day after the bloody rampage, Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., offered her “prayers” for the victims and their families but she failed to mention her past, violent rhetoric against the LGBTQ+ community.
At the same time, Christina Pushaw, the director for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reelection campaign, defended World Cup host Qatar’s decision to ban athletes from wearing armbands in support of LGBTQ+ rights. Pushaw also penned the claim that gay teachers groom students for sex, as part of DeSantis’ campaign to stop students from learning about LGBTQ+ issues.
And Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., known for her anti-LGBTQ+ rants and conspiracy theories, used the Colorado shootings to spread lies about drug trafficking and to argue against gun control.
“Tragically, 300 Americans die of fentanyl poisoning everyday in America and Biden says and does nothing,” Greene tweeted. “Tragically, 5 people were killed in a shooting in Colorado and Biden immediately demands a ban on assault weapons.”
“The solutions are this: 1. Secure the border and stop the drugs. 2. Defend our right to keep and bear arms so that people can defend themselves from killers who could care less about laws,” Greene tweeted.
The congresswoman did not note that a recent study by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, reported that 86.3 percent of convicted fentanyl traffickers are U.S. citizens.
Greene also wants to cancel Pride Month, a time where people across the country celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. She also said that she believes straight people face extinction within 150 years.
A recent Human Rights Campaign report scored members of Congress on LGBTQ+ support. The results, released on Oct. 14, showed that 194 legislators received perfect scores in supporting Pro-LGBTQ+ legislation and other votes of importance to the LGBTQ+ Community. They included 193 Democrats and one Independent in the House and Senate. Not one Republican in Congress earned a perfect score.

The Senators who failed to get perfect scores include: Richard Shelby, Tommy Tuberville, John Boozman, Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio, Rick Scott, Mike Crapo, James Risch, Mike Braun, Todd Young, Joni Ernst, Chuck Grassley, Roger Marshall, Jerry Moran, Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul, William Cassidy, John Kennedy, Cindy Hyde-Smith, Roy Blount, Joseh Hawley, Steven Daines, Deb Fischer, Ben Sasse, Richard Burr, Thom Tilis, Kevin Cramer John Hooven, Rob Portman, James Imhofe, James Lankford, Lindsay Graham, Tim Scott, Mike Rounds, John Thune, Marsha Blackburn, Bill Hagerty, John Cornyn, Ted Cruz, Mile Lee, Ron johnson, John Barrasso, and Cynthia Lummis.
The Human Rights Campaign is the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization. The scorecard was based on votes for a range of key indicators, including pro-equality legislation like the Respect for Marriage Act and Equality Act, votes in the Senate to confirm historic, pro-LGBTQ+ Biden-Harris cabinet officials and judicial nominees, as well as co-sponsorships in both chambers on legislation that significantly impact LGBTQ+ people and their families.
“This term, LGBTQ+ rights have been under attack in state legislatures like never before,” said Human Rights Campaign Interim President Joni Madison.
DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, is a leading voice against LGBTQ+ protection and his campaign director took the time on Monday to voice her support of a decision by Qatar to ban athletes from wearing armbands at the World Cup that support LGBTQ+ rights.
Qatar, a staunchly Muslim country, prohibits homosexuality. DeSantis’s campaign director, Pushaw, took the side of Qatar and said, she doesn’t know why it’s “so hard for liberals to understand.”
“As an American, my values are different from your values…but the thing is, I do not travel to your country and expect your people to change and conform to my values,” Pushaw tweeted.
During the Florida debate about DeSanti’s so-called “anti grooming bill” to stop classroom discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity, Pushaw tweeted, “If you’re against the Anti-Grooming Bill, you are probably a groomer or at least you don’t denounce the grooming of 4–8 year old children.” Grooming is the act of connecting with children for the purpose of sexually abusing them.
Pushaw and DeSantis have worked worked closely with Christopher Rufo, a conservative activist, known for his anti-LGBTQ+ positions and his activism against teaching critical race theory. Rufo has opposed LGBTQ+ education in schools, contending that public schools are often “hunting grounds for sexual predators.” Rufo linked LGBTQ+ instruction at schools to grooming.

DeSantis wasn’t always openly insensitive to the LGBTQ+ community. In his first year as Florida governor in 2019, DeSantis paid a somber visit to the memorial for the 49 people who were murdered when a man opened fire at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Regarding Walker, the former pro football player will face Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock in a runoff election on Dec. 6, after neither candidate received a majority of the vote in November. Walker, who claims to be anti-abortion for any reason, has been accused of encouraging past lovers to have abortions.

His latest political ad was aired when the Colorado victims were still not buried. It features Riley Gaines, a former swimmer for the University of Kentucky who swam and lost in competition against Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer for the University of Pennsylvania. Gaines has been featured onstage with former president trump to stop transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports.
Walker called the Gaines’ loss and the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sports, “unfair and wrong.”
Boebert is a trump supporter, gun advocate and one of the most radical right wing members of Congress.After the Colorado massacre, she tweeted, “The news out of Colorado Springs is absolutely awful. This morning the victims & their families are in my prayers. This lawless violence needs to end and end quickly.”
Boebert did not mention that the victims were members of the LGBTQ+ community. That would have conflicted with her past statements, like when in August she tweeted “A ‘kid-friendly’ drag show in Texas was guarded by masked ANTIFA guards armed with AR-15′s. Remember, they only want YOUR guns. They want to use theirs to protect their depravity.”
Boebert also tweeted a photo of a flier for a Drag Queen Story Hour at a Colorado public library with the words, “Sending a message to all the drag queens out there: stay away from the children in Colorado’s Third District!”
“Take your children to CHURCH, not drag bars,” Boebert tweeted in June.
In May, the lawmaker wrote, “A North Carolina preschool is using LGBT flag flashcards with a pregnant man to teach kids colors. We went from Reading Rainbow to Randy Rainbow in a few decades, but don’t dare say the Left is grooming our kids!”
Drag Queen Story Hours have been targeted by the Proud Boys militia group and other demonstrators, some heavily armed. Last month, a man in a red baseball cap firebombed a Tulsa doughnut shop that had hosted a drag event.
Two Twitter accounts are known for targeting the LGBTQ+ community, including “Gays Against Groomers” and “Libs of TikTok.”
Just hours after the Club Q shooting, “LibsofTikTok” posted numerous anti- LGBTQ+ messages about drag-inclusive events in the state.
The website of “Gays Against Groomers,” based in Milwaukee, Wis., said the group “directly opposes the sexualization and indoctrination of children. This includes drag queen story hours, drag shows involving children, the transitioning and medicalization of minors, and gender theory being taught in the classroom.”
In a recent interview, “Gays Against Groomers” founder Jaimee Michell compared gender-affirming care to Nazi medical experiments.
“Josef Mengele, I believe that was his name, you know, the Nazi doctor. … This [current approach to gender-affirming care] puts him to shame there,” Michell said.
After the Colorado attack, Mitchell issued a statement that “The mainstream media is, yet again, harnessing the tragedy in another empty call for more gun control, while simultaneously inspiring people to point fingers at conservative news, Republicans, and LibsofTiktok for exposing extremist behavior within the community.”
Just three months ago, a march celebrating “straight pride” outside an abortion clinic in California turned violent as participants clashed with more than 200 pro-LGBTQ+ and pro-choice counter-protesters. The National Straight Pride Coalition organized the event, which was held for the fourth consecutive year in Modesto.
A Wikipedia report detailed incidents of serious violence against LGBT people since 1969. The following list does not include dozens of assaults that resulted in injuries but not deaths.

Dec 9, 1969 — Howard Efland, a gay man who had checked into the Dover Hotel in Los Angeles, under the pseudonym J. McCann, was beaten to death by officers of the Los Angeles Police Department.
June 28, 1969 — Police, in the early morning hours, raided a gay bar, the Stonewall Inn, in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan. Thes event sparked the Stonewall riots, which were a series of demonstrations by members of the LGBT community.
June 24, 1973 — An arsonist burned the Upstairs Lounge, a gay bar in New Orleans, killing 32 people.
June 21, 1977 — Robert Hillsborough was stabbed to death in San Francisco by a man shouting “faggot.”
July 5, 1978 — A gang of youths armed with baseball bats and tree branches assaulted several men in an area of Central Park in New York City that was known to be frequented by gay men. One of those injured was former Olympic figure skater Dick Button, who was assaulted while watching a fireworks display in the park.
Nov. 27, 1978 — Openly gay San Francisco city supervisor Harvey Milk, along with Mayor George Moscone, were assassinated by political rival Dan White at San Francisco City Hall.
January 1979 — The writer, Tennessee Williams, was beaten by five teenage boys in Key West, Fla. Williams escaped serious injury as part of a spate of anti-gay violence inspired by an anti-gay newspaper ad run by a local Baptist minister.
June 5, 1979 — Terry Knudsen was beaten to death by three men in Loring Park in Minneapolis, Minn.
Sept. 7, 1979 — Robert Allen Taylor was stabbed to death near Loring Park in Minneapolis.
Oct. 7, 1979 — Steven Charles, 17, of Newark, was beaten to death in New York City by Robert DeLicio, Costabile “Gus” Farace, Farace’s cousin Mark Granato, and David Spoto. They also beat Charles’ friend, Thomas Moore, 16, of Brooklyn.
Jan. 1, 1982 — Rick Hunter and John Hanson were beaten by Minneapolis police outside the “Y’all Come Back Saloon.” Hennepin County Hospital emergency room staff employees testified in court that the police called the two men “faggots” while the men were being treated for their injuries.
1982 — Robert Altom died after he was attacked by Cecil Corrie Turner outside the former “JB’s Paradise Room” in Portland, Ore.
July 7, 1984 — Charlie Howard was drowned in Bangor, Maine, for being “flamboyantly gay.”
Jan. 17, 1987 — Three men were killed and two more seriously wounded after being shot execution-style at an adult bookstore known as a meeting place for homosexuals.
Dec. 15, 1987 — Anthony Milano was killed in Levittown, Pa., after two men alleged he was gay.
May 13, 1988 — Rebecca Wight was killed when she and her partner, Claudia Brenner, were shot by Stephen Roy Carr while hiking and camping along the Appalachian Trail.
May 15, 1988 — Tommy Lee Trimble and John Lloyd Griffin, two gay men, were harassed and later shot by Richard Lee Bednarski in Dallas, Texas.
Dec. 21, 1988 — Venus Xtravaganza, a transgender performer, was found murdered in New York City on Christmas. It was estimated that she had been dead for four days.
Jan. 22, 1990 — James Zappalorti, a gay Vietnam veteran, was stabbed to death in Staten Island, N.Y.
July 2, 1990 — Julio Rivera was murdered in New York City by two men who beat him with a hammer and stabbed him with a knife because he was gay.
July 4, 1991 — Paul Broussard, a Houston-area banker, was attacked and murdered by 10 young men along with Clay Anderson and Richard Delaunay, who survived.
Oct. 27, 1992 — U.S. Navy Petty Officer Allen Schindler was murdered by a shipmate who stomped him to death in a public restroom in Japan.
Dec. 31, 1993 — Brandon Teena, a trans man, was raped and later killed when his birth gender was revealed by police to male friends.
March 9, 1995 — Scott Amedure was murdered after revealing his attraction to his friend Jonathan Schmitz on an episode on secret crushes on “The Jenny Jones Show.”
Nov. 20, 1995 — Chanelle Pickett, 23, an African American trans woman, died at the home of William C. Palmer after a fight that, , ensued after Palmer discovered that she was transgender.
Dec. 4, 1995 — Roxanne Ellis and Michelle Abdill, a lesbian couple in Medford, Ore., were murdered by a man who said he had “no compassion” for bisexual or homosexual people.
Jan. 4, 1996 — Fred Mangione, a gay man, was murdered in Texas by two Neo-Nazi brothers. His partner, Kenneth Stern, was also attacked, but survived.
June 1, 1996 — Julianne Williams, 24, and Lollie Winans, 26, were murdered at their campsite along the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park.
Aug. 1, 1996 — Nick Moraida, a 34-year-old Latino gay man, was murdered during a robbery in Corpus Christi, Texas. His murderer, Richard Cartwright, was given the death penalty.
Feb. 21, 1997 — The “Otherside Lounge,” a lesbian nightclub in Atlanta, Ga., was bombed by Eric Robert Rudolph, the “Olympic Park Bomber.” Five bar patrons were injured.
Oct. 7, 1998 — Matthew Shepard, a gay student, in Laramie, Wyo., was tortured, beaten severely, tied to a fence, and abandoned. He later died.
Feb. 19, 1999 — Billy Jack Gaither, a 39-year-old gay man, was beaten to death in Rockford, Ala.
July 1, 1999 — A Gay couple, Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder, was murdered by white supremacist brothers Benjamin Matthew and James Tyler Williams in Redding, Calif.
March 21, 2000 — Steen Fenrich was murdered, apparently by his stepfather, John D. Fenrich, in Queens, N.Y. His dismembered remains were found in March 2000, with the phrase “gay nigger number one” scrawled on his skull along with his social security number.
Oct. 15, 1999 — Sissy “Charles” Bolden was found shot to death in Savannah, Ga.
July 6, 1999- Barry Winchell, a 21-year-old Army infantry soldier, was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat as he slept in his barracks at Fort Campbell after being harassed for his relationship with Calpernia Addams.
July 3, 2000 — Arthur “J.R.” Warren was punched and kicked to death in Grant Town, W. Va., by two teenage boys who believed that Warren had spread a rumor that he and one of the boys had a sexual relationship.
Sept. 22, 2000 — Ronald Gay opened fire and killed one man and injured six others at a gay bar in Roanoke, Va.
June 16, 2001 — Fred Martinez, a transgender student, was bludgeoned to death near Cortez, Colo.
Aug. 25, 2001 — Gary Raynall, a gay man, was found beaten to death in Leawood, Kan.
June 12, 2002 — Philip Walsted, a gay man, was beaten to death with a baseball bat in Tucson, Ariz.
Aug. 6, 2002 — Rodney Velasquez, a 26-year-old Latino gay man, was found murdered in the bathtub of his Bronx, N.Y., apartment.
Oct. 3, 2002 — Gwen Araujo, a teenage trans woman, was murdered by at least three men.
Dec. 24, 2002 — Nizah Morris, a 47-year-old black trans woman, was murdered in Philadelphia, Pa.
Dec. 12, 2001 — Terrianne Summers, a 51-year-old trans woman and activist for transgender rights, was shot and killed in her front yard in Jacksonville, Fla.
May 11, 2003 — Sakia Gunn, a black, 15-year-old lesbian, was murdered in Newark after Gunn and a friend rejected the advances of two men.
June 17, 2003 — Richie Phillips of Elizabethtown, Kent., was killed and his body was found in a suitcase in Rough River Lake.
July 23, 2003 — Nireah Johnson and Brandie Coleman were shot to death after their killer learned after a sexual encounter that Johnson was transgender.
July 31, 2003 — Glenn Kopitske, 37, was shot and fatally stabbed in the back in Winnebago County, Wis.
Aug. 20, 2003 — Emonie Spaulding, a black 25-year-old trans woman, was shot to death in Washington, D.C.
July 22, 2004 — Scotty Joe Weaver, 18, of Bay Minette, Ala., was murdered and his burned and partially decomposed body was discovered a few miles from his mobile home.
Jan. 28, 2005 — Ronnie Antonio Paris, a 3-year-old boy living in Tampa, Florida, died due to brain injuries inflicted by his father, Ronnie Paris, Jr. According to his mother and other relatives, the father beat the boy because he was concerned the child was gay.
Feb. 27, 2005 — James Maestas, 21, was assaulted outside a restaurant in Santa Fe, N.M., then followed to a hotel and beaten unconscious by men who called him “faggot” during the attack.
March 11, 2005 — Jason Gage, an openly gay man, was murdered in his Waterloo, Iowa, apartment by an assailant who claimed Gage had made sexual advances to him.
Oct. 25, 2005 — Emanuel Xavier, an openly gay poet and activist, was beaten by a group of 15 to 20 teens on the streets of Bushwick, N.Y.
Oct. 8, 2006 — Michael Sandy was attacked by four young heterosexual men who lured him into meeting after chatting online. He was struck by a car while trying to escape his attackers, and died five days later.
Feb. 27, 2007 — Andrew Anthos, a 72-year-old disabled gay man, was beaten to death with a lead pipe in Detroit, Mich., by a man who was shouting anti-gay slurs at him.
March 15, 2007 — Ryan Keith Skipper, a 25-year-old gay man, was stabbed to death in Wahneta, Fla.
March 16, 2007 — Ruby Ordeñana, a 24-year-old Latina transgender woman, was found naked and strangled to death in San Francisco, Calif.
May 12, 2007 — Roberto Duncanson was stabbed to death in Brooklyn, N.Y., by a man who claimed Duncanson had flirted with him.
May 16, 2007 — Sean William Kennedy, 20, was accosted and beaten to death while walking to his car from Brew’s Bar in Greenville, S.C.
Oct. 26, 2007 — Steven Domer, a 62-year-old gay man, was murdered by a white supremacist in Oklahoma.
Jan. 8, 2008 — Stacey Brown, a black 30-year-old trans woman, was found shot to death in her apartment.
July 1, 2008 — Ebony Whitaker, an African American trans woman, was shot and killed in Memphis, Tenn.
Nov. 10, 2008 — Duanna Johnson, a trans woman, was beaten by a police officer while held in the Shelby County Criminal Justice Center in Tennessee. In November 2008, she was found dead in the street, gunned down by three unknown individuals.
Feb. 4, 2008 — Ashley Sweeney, a trans woman, was shot in the head and her body was found in Detroit, Mich.
Feb. 10, 2008 — Sanesha Stewart, a 25-year-old black trans woman, was stabbed to death in the Bronx, N.Y.
Feb. 12, 2008 — Lawrence “Larry” King, a 15-year-old junior high school student, was shot dead by a classmate at E.O. Green School in Oxnard, Calif.
Feb. 22, 2008 — Simmie Williams Jr., a black gender-nonconforming 17-year-old, was shot dead on a street corner in Broward County, Fla.
May 29, 2008 — Steven Parrish, 18, a member of the 92 Family Swans subgroup of the Bloods, was murdered by Steven T. Hollis III and Juan L. Flythe on orders from gang leader Timothy Rawlings Jr., in Baltimore County, Md., after they found “gay messages” on his cell phone.
June 9, 2008 — Jeremy Waggoner, an openly gay hairstylist from Royal Oak, Mich., was murdered in Detroit.
July 17, 2008 — Eighteen-year-old Angie Zapata, a trans woman, was beaten to death in Colorado.
Aug. 20, 2008 — Nahkia Williams, a black trans woman, was shot to death in Louisville, Kent.
Sept. 7, 2008 — Tony Randolph Hunter, 27, and his partner were attacked and beaten near a gay bar in Washington, D.C. Hunter later died from his injuries.
Sept. 21, 2008 — The nude body of 22-year-old trans woman, Ruby Molina, was found on the bank of a river in Sacramento, Calif.
Nov. 7, 2008 — The Newton, N.C., home of openly gay Melvin Whistlehunt, was destroyed by arsonists.
Nov. 14, 2008 — Lateisha Green, 22-year-old trans woman, was shot and killed by Dwight DeLee in Syracuse, N.Y., because he thought she was gay.
Dec. 26, 2008 — Taysia Elzy, a 34-year-old trans woman, and her partner, 22-year-old Michael Hunt, were shot to in their apartment.
Dec. 27, 2008 — Nathan Runkle, 24, was assaulted outside of a gay nightclub in Dayton, Ohio.
Jan. 17, 2009 — Caprice Curry, a 31-year-old trans woman, was stabbed to death in San Francisco, Calif.
Feb. 15, 2009 — Efosa Agbontaen and Branden McGillvery-Dummett were attacked in New York City by four young men with glass bottles and box cutters who used anti-gay slurs during the attack.
Feb. 18, 2009 — Two men were arrested in Stroudsburg, Pa., for the stabbing death of gay veteran Michael Goucher.
March 1, 2009 — Three men entered a bar in Galveston, Texas, and attacked patrons with rocks. One of the victims, Marc Bosaw, was sent to the emergency room and had 12 staples in his head.
March 14, 2009 — A gay couple leaving a Britney Spears concert in Newark, were attacked by 15 teens, who called the couple “faggots.” One man suffered a broken jaw.
March 23, 2009 — Two gay men were attacked in Seaside, Ore., and left lying unconscious on a local beach. The men regained consciousness and were treated at a nearby hospital.
April 6, 2009 — Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover, 11, of Springfield, Mass., hanged himself with an extension cord after being bullied all school year by peers who said “he acted feminine” and was gay.
April 10, 2009 — Justin Goodwin, 36, of Salem, Mass., was attacked and beaten by as many as six people outside a bar in Gloucester, Mass. Goodwin later committed suicide.
June 30, 2009 — Seaman August Provost was found shot to death and his body burned at his guard post on Camp Pendleton in Oceanside, Calif. The Provost had been harassed because of his sexual orientation.
Oct. 25, 2009 — Dee Green, a trans woman, was found by police unconscious, stabbed in the heart and bleeding on a street in Baltimore, Md. She was taken to a hospital where she died half an hour later.
Nov. 10, 2009 — Jason Mattison Jr., a gay 15-year-old boy, was murdered and raped at his aunt’s housein Baltimore, Md., by a family friend who had been in prison for murder previously
Dec. 9, 2009 — The body of Mariah Malina Qualls, a 23-year-old trans woman, was found in a San Francisco hotel.
Jan. 18, 2010 — The half-naked corpse of Myra Chanel Ical, a 51-year-old trans woman, was found in a vacant lot in Houston, Texas.
March 30, 2010 — Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, a 29-year-old Latina trans woman, was found dead in her Queens, N.Y., apartment. The autopsy found that her attacker, Rasheen Everett, had strangled her, then doused her body with bleach.
April 3, 2010 — Toni Alston, a black 44-year-old transgender woman, was shot in the front door of her home in western Charlotte, N.C.
May 7, 2010 — Dana A. “Chanel” Larkin, a 26-year-old black trans woman who worked as a prostitute, was shot dead three times in the head by her client, after she asked him if he was okay with them having sex despite her male genitalia.
June 21, 2010 — Sandy Woulard, a 28-year-old trans woman, was fatally shot in the chest in South Side, Chicago.
Sept. 11, 2010 — Victoria Carmen White, a 28-year-old black transgender woman, died of bullet wounds in her New Jersey apartment.
Oct. 3, 2010 — A 30-year-old male known as “la Reina” (the Queen), Bryan Almonte, and Brian Cepeda, both 17, were kidnapped in the Bronx by a homophobic group of youths calling themselves the Latin King Goonies, sodomized by foreign objects including a plunger and baseball bat, burned with cigarettes, and tortured for hours.
Oct. 14, 2010 — Stacey Blahnik Lee, a 31-year-old black trans woman, was found murdered in her Philadelphia home.
Nov. 17, 2010–18-year-old Joshua Wilkerson was found dead in a field in Pearland, Texas, after he was beaten to death and set on fire by a friend in retaliation for unwanted sexual advances.
Jan. 11, 2011 — Chrissie Bates, a 45-year-old transgender woman, was stabbed to death in her downtown Minneapolis apartment.
Feb. 19, 2011 — Tyra Trent, a black 25-year-old trans woman, was found strangled to death in a vacant house in Baltimore, Md. April 2011 — Kevin Pennington, a gay 28-year-old male, was kidnapped and beaten in a Kentucky park by two men shouting anti-gay epithets.
April 22, 2011 — Chrissy Lee Polis, a 22-year-old trans woman, was beaten in a violent struggle by two African-American women for entering the women’s bathroom in Baltimore County, Md.
June 5, 2011 — CeCe McDonald, a young African American trans woman, was attacked outside a tavern shortly after midnight in Minneapolis, Minn. She was fatally stabbed with a pair of scissors.
July 20, 2011 — Lashai Mclean, a 23-year-old African American trans woman, was shot to death in Washington, D.C.
Aug. 11, 2011 — Camila Guzman, a Latina transgender woman, was found murdered in her apartment in East Harlem, N.Y.
Oct. 11, 2011 — The burnt torso of Shelley Hilliard, a black transgender teen who had been reported missing, was found in Detroit, Mich.
Nov. 15, 2011 — Danny Vega, a 58-year-old Asian-American gay man who worked as a hairdresser in Rainier Valley, Seattle, Wash., was beaten and robbed as he was taking a walk. The beating left Vega in a coma from which he later died.
Nov. 17, 2011 — Cassidy Nathan Vickers, a 32-year-old black transgender woman, died from a gunshot wound to the chest in Hollywood, Calif.
Dec. 17, 2011 — Charlie Hernandez, a 26-year-old openly gay man, was stabbed to death by two men after they yelled anti-gay slurs because Hernandez accidentally stepped on one of the men’s sunglasses.
Dec. 24, 2011 — Dee Dee Pearson, a 31-year-old transgender woman, died from bullet wounds in Kansas City, Mo.
Dec. 29, 2011 — The strangled body of Give Goines, a black 23-year-old trans woman, was found in a scrapheap in New Orleans, La.
Jan. 21, 2012 — Crain Conaway, a black 47-year-old trans woman, was found dead in her home in Oceanside, Calif.
Feb. 2, 2012 — JaParker “Deoni” Jones, a 23-year-old black trans woman, was stabbed in the head while waiting at a Metrobus stop in Washington, D.C.
March 8, 2012 — An unidentified gay Black man was sexually and physically assaulted by two men in Corpus Christi, Texas. The victim was attacked him over the course of three hours.
March 15, 2012– Rosita Hernandez, a Cuban trans woman, was stabbed to death in Miami, Fla.
April 3, 2012 — Coko Williams, a black trans woman sex worker, was found murdered in East Detroit, Mich.
April 16, 2012 — Paige Clay, 23, a black trans woman, was found dead of a bullet wound to her face in West Garfield Park, Chicago.
June 5, 2012 — Kardin Ulysse, a 14-year-old black boy, was attacked in the cafeteria of Roy Mann Junior High School in Brooklyn, N.Y. He cornea was damaged, leaving him blind.
June 23, 2012 — Mollie Olgin, 19, and her girlfriend, Kristene Chapa, 18, were found shot in the head near Violet Andrews Park in Portland, Texas. Olgin died at the scene and Chapa survived.
July 5, 2012 — Tracy Johnson, a 40-year-old black trans woman, was found dead from gunshot wounds in Baltimore, Md.
Aug. 14, 2012 — Tiffany Gooden, a 19-year-old black trans woman, was found stabbed to death on the second floor of an abandoned building in Chicago.
Aug. 18, 2012 — Kendall Hampton, a 26-year-old black trans woman from Walnut Hills, Ill., died of gunshot wounds.
Aug. 26, 2012 — Deja Jones, a 33-year-old black trans woman, was shot to death in Miami, Fla.
Sept. 3, 2012 — The body of Kyra Cordova, a 27-year-old trans woman, was found in a wooded area in Frankford, Pa.
Oct. 15, 2012 — Janette Tovar, a 43-year-old trans woman, was murdered by her partner, who beat her and slammed her head into the concrete.
May 17, 2013 — Mark Carson, a 32-year-old black gay man, was shot to death by another man who trailed and taunted him and a friend as they walked down the street in Greenwich Village, N.Y.
May 22, 2013 — Gabriel Fernandez, an 8-year-old boy, was tortured and murdered by his mother and her boyfriend because they believed the child to be gay.
March 1, 2014 — Jipsta, an openly gay white rapper, was the victim of a bias attack in a New York City subway station as he and his partner were celebrating their 10-year anniversary. Jipsta suffered multiple fractures to his face.
March 6, 2014 — A lesbian couple, Britney Cosby, 24, and Crystal Jackson, 24, were murdered by Cosby’s father, James “Larry” Cosby.
June 1, 2014 — Ahmed Said, 27, and Dwone Anderson-Young, 23, were killed execution-style shortly after midnight in the Leschi neighborhood of Seattle, Wash., shortly after they left a gay nightclub.
Feb. 1, 2015 — Taja DeJesus, 36, a trans woman, was found stabbed to death in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif.
Feb. 15, 2016 — Two gay men, Anthony Gooden and Marquez Tolbert, suffered facial and bodily second and third-degree burns after Martin Luther Blackwell, 43, poured boiling water on them as they were sleeping in Atlanta, Ga.
April 29, 2016 — Steven Nelson 49, a gay man, was assaulted in a secluded wildlife area near Lake Lowell, Idaho. Nelson was taken to a local hospital but died later that morning.
June 12, 2016 — A massacre at the “Pulse,” a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., left 49 dead and 53 wounded.
September 2017 — Ally Steinfeld, a transgender teenager, was stabbed to death, mutilated and set on fire by three young people in Cabool, Mo.
Jan. 2, 2018 — Blaze Bernstein, an openly gay Jewish college student, was stabbed more than 20 times in Orange County, Calif. His assailant was an avowed neo-Nazi and member of the Atomwaffen Division.
March 7, 2018 — Ta’Ron “Rio” Carson, a gay man, was fatally shot as he left the Aura nightclub in Kansas City, Mo.
March 28, 2018 — Amia Tyrae, a black transgender woman, was found dead of multiple gun shot wounds in a motel room in Baton Rouge, La.
June 21, 2018 — Anthony Avalos, a 10-year old, died of physical abuse after his mother said the boy told her he “likes boys and girls.”
December 16, 2019 — An arsonist burned the drop-in office of SisTers PGH, a transgender resource center led by black and transgender people, in Pittsburgh, Pa.
May 27, 2020 — Tony McDade, a black transgender male, was shot and killed by Tallahassee Police.
May 21, 2021 — The body of Poe Black, a 21-year-old transgender man, was found in an unincorporated area of Niland, Calif.
Oct. 24, 2021 — Charlotte Osieczanek, a transgender woman, was attacked by three men during her late night shift at a convenience store in Corvallis, Ore. Osieczanek suffered a broken nose, shoulder, and orbital bones.
Nov. 2, 2021 — Jenny de Leon, a Latina transgender woman, was found murdered in Tampa, Fla.
Nov. 19–20, 2022 — A mass shooting at a gay bar in Colorado Springs, Color., left at least five people dead and 25 injured.

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Phil Garber

Journalist for 40 years and now a creative writer