When President Obama gives his final State of the Union address tonight, he's expected to address gun regulations, something on which he issued an executive order last week. Each day about 30 people in the United States die due to gun violence, and LGBT people are not exempt. No matter what measures you favor to address the problem, it's worth remembering its impact on our population. Here are some of the LGBT people killed by guns in 2015, as reported by The Advocate; there were undoubtedly many more.
Ron Lane, a gay man who ran the print shop at Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, N.C., was shot to death on campus in April. Kenneth Morgan Stancil III, an employee whom Lane had recently fired, was arrested in Florida and charged with the crime. Stancil may have ties to white supremacist groups, and investigators have been trying to determine if he was motivated by antigay bias.
Many of the reported LGBT victims of gun violence in 2015 were transgender women of color. Amber Monroe, a 20-year-old student at Wayne State University in Detroit, had just stepped out of a car on the city's west side early one morning in August when someone fired a shot from inside the car, killing her. Her legal identification listed her as male, but friends and activists confirmed that she was a trans woman.
Transgender woman Kiesha Jenkins, 22, was attacked in Philadelphia by a group of men early one morning in October. They beat her to the ground and shot her twice in the back. One man, Pedro Redding, was arrested on murder charges a few days later and awaits trial, but police have been seeking other suspects, and they do not believe Redding was the shooter. They believe the attack was part of a series of robberies and that Jenkins was not targeted for being trans.
A 30-year-old gay man identified by friends only as "Melvin" was shot to death in Detroit in October. Melvin sometimes wore women's clothing, including at the time of his death, but did not identify as transgender. Activists worry that he was targeted for his identity. He was the third LGBT person reported murdered in the city in 2015.
Kandis Capri, a trans woman, was killed by a gunshot outside an apartment complex in Phoenix in August. Her purse and phone were missing, but Capri’s family was not discounting the possibility that her murder was a hate crime.
Zella Ziona died after being shot in the head in Gaithersburg, Md., in October. Rico Hector Leblond is charged with her murder; he reportedly said Ziona, a transgender woman with whom he may have been romantically involved, embarrassed him by "acting flamboyantly."
New Orleans trans woman Penny Proud was shot multiple times in the midst of a robbery in February. Local newspaper The Times-Picayune was widely criticized for misgendering her in death.
Atlanta resident Ashley Belle was shot to death in January in the apartment she shared with partner Laura Bozeman. Bozeman has been charged with Belle's murder.
Keyshia Blige was shot as she drove through Aurora, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, in March. That she was transgender was not reported until August, as local media identified her as a male drag performer. Police said they did not consider her murder a hate crime but had various theories they were investigating.
Daniel Kaufman was the well-liked manager of the coffee shop at the Inland Regional Center, a social services center in San Bernardino, Calif. He died while reportedly helping to save others during the mass shooting at the center in December, which took a total of 14 lives. His partner, Ryan Reyes, will attend the State of the Union address.
Trans woman Papi Edwards (initially identfied as a gay man) died of a gunshot wound at a motel in Louisville, Ky., in January. Henry Richard Gleaves was charged with Edwards's murder, has pleaded not guilty, and remains in custody.
Lamia Beard, a transgender woman, was fatally shot in Norfolk, Va., in January. Like so many other victims, she was misgendered by local media.
Dallas transgender woman Shade Schuler died of a gunshot wound in late July. Her body was so bady decomposed that it took authorities two weeks to identify her.
Ty Underwood, a transgender woman, was shot to death in Tyler, Texas, in January. In December her boyfriend, Carlton Ray Champion, was convicted of her murder and sentenced to life in prison.