On April 21, 2021, transgender woman Tiara Banks was killed in her car in the West Pullman neighborhood of Chicago. According to local news reports, Banks, 24, was sitting alone in her Ford Fusion when a person approached and shot her multiple times.
"Losing yet another member of our community to senseless acts of violence against transgender people, particularly Black transgender women, is both painful and incredibly frustrating," said Tori Cooper, Human Rights Campaign director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, in a statement the week after the incident.
"At just 24 years old, Tiara had her whole entire life ahead of her and, instead, we are remembering her because of the ongoing fatal violence against transgender people. We must continue to urge everyone to call an end to the alarming rate of fatal trans violence," Cooper said.
Beverly Ross, a Chicago LGBTQ+ health advocate, said that Banks lost her mother, father and a sibling, Ross said, "but she still had family support" for much of her life. Banks is survived by a transgender sister who goes by the name Peaches, Ross said, noting that Banks and Peaches were "similar" to one another.
"At this time, I just think we have to figure out: How do we navigate these spaces and help girls be more safe in these practices and this work that we involve ourselves in?" Ross said.
Howard Brown Health also acknowledged the loss of Banks in a Facebook post the week following her death.
"We are feeling the effects of anti-trans hate in the loss of yet another member of the transgender community here in Chicago," Howard Brown officials wrote. "We must continue to fight against systemic transphobia and racism that is stealing the lives of our transgender siblings."
A visitation was hosted for Banks the evening of May 2, 2021 at Higgins Family Funeral Home, according to the funeral home's website. A wake and celebration of life followed the next day at Resurrection House Baptist Church in Dolton.
At this time, not much else is known about Banks' personal life. Those who knew Tiara Banks and would like to speak about their memories of her should email firstname.lastname@example.org .
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