Just a week after writing about the ugly shooting death of a 19-year-old Black gender nonconforming young adult while they were at a Christmas party, I was hopeful there would be no more deaths to cover in 2020. That young person, Bella Pugh, was the 42nd known victim in the U.S. this year. I was wrong about her death being the final of 2020.
This weekend, another violent murder of a young Black trans woman came to light, this time from Chicago. Her name was Eshay Key. She was 25 years old when she was shot in the head on Christmas and found Christmas Night.
[Note: Misgendering was in original report and is included here.]
[She] was found about 8:35 p.m. lying unresponsive after being shot on the side of the street in the 900 block of East 82nd Street, Chicago police said. [S]he was pronounced dead on the scene.
The Cook County medical examiner's office hasn't identified the [victim], but conducted an autopsy and ruled [the] death a homicide by gunshot wound to the head.
Eshay Key, 25, was shot and killed in the 900 block of East 82nd, Chatham neighborhood, Southeast Side on Dec. 25, 2020. Her death was reported across Facebook as her loved ones learned the news. A vigil was organized Dec. 27, near the location where she died. Mainstream media coverage misgendered Key.
It was an especially deadly weekend in Chicago with 30 people shot and eight killed, including Key. Three people were fatally shot on Christmas Day, including Key.
Eshay was the 43rd known victim of this epidemic of transphobic violence engulfing the nation. She is the 28th Black trans person and the 24th Black trans woman murdered in the U.S. that we know of in 2020. She is one of 18 victims age 25 or younger.
Her social media feeds are filled with the exuberance and lively content you expect from a twentysomething young woman. Now they are filled with the grief of her friends. One of her last posts was a shout-out to her friend Bella, another Black trans woman who had died under mysterious circumstances in August 2020.
Brave Space Alliance is helping with the funeral according to Chicago activist LaSaia Wade.
Rest in power, Eshay. You were taken from this world far too young and clearly deeply missed by many, many people. Your life was magical and should have continued for many years. Your loved ones will seek justice for your death and lift up your life.
May your memory be a revolution.
Sue Kerr is from the Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, see www.Pghlesbian.com , Twitter: @pghlesbian24, Insta: @pghlesbian. Original post: www.pghlesbian.com/2020/12/25-year-old-black-trans-woman-murdered-on-christmas-day-in-chicago/ .