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Trans Woman Tatiana Labelle Found Dead in Trash Can in Chicago

Tatiana Labelle

The Cook County medical examiner has determined Labelle was beaten to death.

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Black transgender woman Tatiana "Tee Tee" Labelle, 33, was found dead Friday in a trash can in Chicago, and her death has been ruled a homicide, making her at least the seventh trans person to have died by violence in the U.S. this year.

Labelle was last seen alive March 13 on the city's south side, Windy City Times reports. Her body was discovered Friday afternoon. The Cook County medical examiner performed an autopsy and ruled her death a homicide, having determined she was beaten to death. Police are continuing to investigate.

Most media reports deadnamed Labelle, Windy City Times notes. Little information is available about her from her Facebook page or other sources.

Six other trans Americans are known to have died by violent means so far in 2022, after a year that saw a record 57 such deaths reported. The total in any year is likely much higher, given that many trans people are misgendered or deadnamed by police and media, or that their deaths are not reported at all. Most of the victims the decade since activists and LGBTQ+ media have been reporting on these deaths have been Black or Latinx women.

The report of Labelle's death comes shortly after that of another Black transgender Chicago woman, activist Elise Malary. Malary's body was pulled from Lake Michigan Thursday, and she was positively identified Saturday. She had been missing for several days. Police have said, however, that they do not believe Malary was a victim of foul play.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.