D'isaya Dior Monaee Smith was shot and killed Sept. 6 at the Prestige Motel in Dolton, Illinois. She was 27.
A Human Rights Campaign report showed that, in 2020, a record 44 transgender, nonbinary or gender-nonconforming people were murdered. Smith is the 37th recorded person in that demographic to be murdered this year.
According to Smith's aunt Shena Guye, this marks the second time Smith's mother Latrina Banks has lost a child to gun violence. Her son, Antonio Pittman, was killed in 2018.
Smith was born April 15, 1994, in Chicago. She graduated from Bogan High School and was a hairstylist and had recently begun learning how to do makeup.
Among Smith's favorite activities were hanging out with family and friends, traveling, cooking, talking on the phone and dancing.
Smith is survived by her mother Latrina Banks; step-father Victor Banks; father Dion Smith; siblings Temesha Jones, Parris and Porshe; cousins Trell and Tre; nephews Roman, Jabari and Maurice; niece Ma'Niya; grandmothers Shirley Guye and Gwendolyn Banks; grandfathers Ardrain Haywood and Morris Wilson II; aunts Shena Guye and Jemil Haywood; uncles Maine and Sam Guye and many chosen family members and friends. She was preceded in death by her brother Antonio Pittman.
"I'm gonna miss you calling and video calling me every day and in the end always saying I love you Ma," said her mother, Latrina Banks.
"I will always love you, adore you and miss you dearly," said her sister Porsche Smith-Lewis in a Facebook post. "Every day was a constant hate crime battle and I applaud you for unapologetically being yourself, courageous and always walking with your head high. Your big sister loves you and will forever say your name. Fly high my big baby. I am so hurt you left me. Best friends and blood sisters forever."
"All I keep hearing is her saying 'yessss hunny, okay…. I need some of your coins girl' every time we were on the phone and I would tell her some good news," said her oldest sister, Temesha Jones.
"D'isaya was the most adventurous, free spirited, vibrant, spoiled and protective out of the five of her siblings," said her aunt Shena Guye. "If it wasn't about family it wasn't about anything for D'isaya. That was always first and foremost no matter what. She was a lover of all people, places and things and it was very rare that she didn't care to embrace something including her true self which is what everyone who's met or knew her absolutely adored about her."
Funeral services have already taken place. The family asks that people donate to the South Side Black- and trans-led LGBTQ+ organization Brave Space Alliance in Smith's name.