Chicagoan Tyianna Alexander, also known as Davarea Alexander, was the first trans woman to die by murder in the city in 2021. She was 28.
Alexander was shot to death the morning of Jan. 6 at the 800 block of West 57th Street, according to reports. A man who was with Alexander, Brandon Gowdy, 31, was also shot in the incident and taken to University of Chicago Medical Center where he later died.
Alexander was misgendered in early reports. Her death has remained unsolved as of publication. A few months before her death, Alexander posted on social media that her car had been shot at several times.
In a remembrance of Alexander published in March by AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC), Alexander, who lived with her mother, was remembered as "the life of the party." She was an aficionado of Chicago House music and loved to dance, and sometimes used the moniker Barbie the Dance Diva. That love of dance was seemingly infectious throughout her family; on December 21, Alexander live-streamed her young niece's Tik Tok-themed birthday party, roaming through the party with her phone as girls joyously danced in celebration.
"Her energy was intoxicating," Alexander's friend, Beverly Ross, said in the AFC remembrance. "I think that's what's going to be missed most. She was a sweetheart. She loved everybody, and everybody loved her."
A graduate of Harper High School, Alexander also worked in various retail and restaurant positions.
A funeral for her took place Jan. 14 and 15, while a balloon release and a remembrance was also held Jan. 8, just two days after her death.
The notice for that latter, impromptu gathering remembered her as, indeed, "the life of the party": "Please come out to help us celebrate the life of Barbie the Dance Diva, who loved, cared and laughed with everyone."
AFC's article about Alexander is at tinyurl.com/33c29x5d. To share any anecdotes or memories of Alexander, contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
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