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Trans Woman Brianna Ulmer Fatally Shot in Chicago

Brianna Ulmer

Yet another Black transgender woman has died by violence — Brianna Ulmer, also known as Brianna Hamilton, was shot to death in Chicago last Friday.

She was found in an alley early that morning with a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at a local hospital, according to Pgh Lesbian Correspondents, going off a report from Chicago TV station WGN that misgendered her. She was 25.

“Her social media feed is filled with affirmative self-love content as well as observations on culture, fashion, and society. ... Her vibrancy is palpable,” Pgh Lesbian Correspondents reported. “And that makes her death from a gunshot wound to the head in the early morning on the Chicago sidewalk so … numbing.”

Her mother, Ronda Ulmer, has set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for funeral expenses. “I know Brianna was loved by many,” she wrote, calling her daughter an “amazing person” and ending with “#TRANSLIVESMATTER.”

Chicago police detectives are investigating the crime but have yet to make an arrest. Brianna Ulmer is at least the 37th trans, nonbinary, or gender-nonconforming person to die by violence in the U.S. this year, putting 2021 on track to exceed 2020’s record total of 44 such deaths. That’s not counting, of course, those who are misgendered or deadnamed, or whose deaths are not reported at all. The majority of the victims have been Black women.

Brave Space Alliance, a Black-run, trans-run Chicago community center, mourned her on Facebook, writing “Rest in power my luv.” Tori Cooper of the Human Rights Campaign issued a statement: “Black trans lives matter, and we need urgent action to end this epidemic of violence.”

Ulmer is the second trans Chicagoan killed this month, with Disaya Monaee having been fatally shot over the Labor Day weekend in a suburb, and the fourth (or fifth, according to some reports) this year.

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