Asia Jynaé Foster, found dead in Houston Friday, has become the 38th transgender person known to have died by violence in the U.S. this year.
Foster, 22, was found on a street in the southwestern part of the city, TV station KTRK reports. She had suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
She had been a client of Montrose Grace Place, a drop-in shelter for LGBTQ+ young people experiencing homelessness, according to Houston’s OutSmart magazine. The shelter memorialized her on Facebook, along with another client, Tracy Single, also a Black trans woman, who was killed in 2018.
A candlelight vigil for Foster was held Sunday at the Montrose Center, the city’s LGBTQ+ resource center. “Family and friends at the vigil said at the young age of 22, Foster had turned her life around, was excelling professionally and personally, and was a beacon of light in their community,” KTRK reports.
“This will never be forgotten. Asia will never be forgotten,” a family member told vigil attendees, according to the station.
This year has seen more reported homicides of trans Americans than any year since The Advocate and activist groups began tracking these deaths. The previous record was 31 in 2017. The actual number in any year is likely much larger, given that many trans victims are misgendered by police and media, or their deaths not reported at all. In 2020, as in most years, the majority of the victims have been women of color.
Foster’s death remains under investigation. Police ask that anyone with information call Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-TIPS (8477).