(Warning: Several articles at the links below describe graphic violence.)
In Palm Beach, Florida, Kaladaa Crowell, 36, and her 11-year-old daughter, Kyra Inglett, were shot and killed on Thursday. December 28. Crowell’s girlfriend Robin Denson’s 26-year-old son is wanted by police as a suspect, the Palm Beach Post reports. (H/t Autostraddle.)
In Cape Town, South Africa, Noxolo Xakeka, 23, mother of a six-year-old boy, was stabbed and killed in what IOL reports as a homophobic attack. More than 100 friends and family gathered at her memorial service on Saturday.
And in late December, Shanta Myers, 36, her partner, Brandi Mells, 22, and Myers’ two children, Jeremiah, 11, and Shanise, five, were found dead in their apartment in Troy, New York. Two men have been charged, but police have not yet indicated a motive. Their hometown turned out last Saturday to celebrate their lives.
Parents were not the only queer people to be slain in recent weeks, however. Autostraddle also notes that one other Black lesbian, Kerrice Lewis, 23, was killed on December 28 in Washington, D.C. Transgriot tells us 42-year-old White transgender woman, Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien. was killed in North Adams, Massachusetts, on January 5. Her husband has admitted to the crime. And Xakeka’s was not the only queer person killed recently in South Africa; at least one other Black, transgender woman and a White lesbian couple have also been killed in recent weeks. Several of the victims were tortured before their deaths.
I have no words of comfort or wisdom to offer here. I do not know what combination of systemic biases and personal motivations were at work in any of these horrors. And while I hope that thinking of these events does not cause us to live our lives in fear, nor do I want us to forget the names and lives that have been lost. Wishing whatever comfort they can find to their families and friends.