A 26-year-old Black transgender woman was shot and killed in Augusta, Ga., earlier this month.
Keshia Chanel Geter hailed from Eastover, S.C. She was fatally shot outside a Knights Inn on July 20, where she’d been traveling with a friend, according to the Human Rights Campaign.
Jaquarie Allen, 22, of August has been charged with murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, local news station WACH reports, which deadnamed Geter.
Allen may face additional charges, the outlet notes. The station reports that Geter’s family has begun promoting a “transgender lives matter” movement in the wake of Geter’s death.
In a message posted on YouTube, Geter’s mother, Michelle Jordan, said, “no one should ever take somebody’s life because of what they are.”
Tori Cooper, Human Rights Campaign’s director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, condemned the killing.
“Keshia Chanel Geter lived her truth as a Black transgender woman. She should still be alive today to embrace those she loved and continue living a bright and full life. Instead, Keshia was fatally shot and then suffered the indignity of being misgendered by the media,” Cooper said in a release. “We demand that more be done to protect Black transgender women so we can live our lives fully without violence, harassment, or discrimination. It’s about respect and honor – treating everyone the way you would want to be treated.”
The organization said that transgender and gender non-conforming people in Georgia aren’t necessarily protected under the state's antidiscrimination laws when it comes to employment, housing, education, and public spaces. And, while Georgia’s hate crimes law does include sexual orientation, it doesn’t explicitly include gender identity.
More than 270 anti-LGBTQ+ bills are under consideration in state legislatures, according to tracking by HRC. Over 110 of those bills specifically target transgender people.
Geter is at least the 22st victim of anti-transgender violence in the U.S. this year. The number in any given year is undoubtedly higher, given misgendering and deadnaming by police and media. Deadly violence disproportionately impacts trans women of color, especially Black trans women.
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