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Suspect in killing of Black trans man Righteous Torrence 'TK' Hill identified by police

Torrence Hill aka TK Chevy transgender man killed atlanta georgia
facebook @Evollusion

Righteous Torrence “TK” Hill

Hill was the founder and owner of Evollusion, a hair and beauty salon that was a safe space for the Black LGBTQ+ community in the Atlanta area.

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Police in Georgia have identified but have yet to arrest a suspect in the fatal shooting of Black transgender man Righteous Torrence “TK” Hill, a popular hair salon owner who was shot in February outside his home in East Point, near Atlanta.

Hill, nicknamed Chevy, was shot February 28 and died the next day, Atlanta TV station WXIA reports. Police confirmed to The Advocate that the suspect is a cousin, Jaylen Hill, who had received much assistance from Chevy.

Chevy Hill's friend Yves Mathieu-East was among the first to report his death, with this post on Instagram.

Hill, 35 was the founder and owner of Evollusion, a hairstyling and beauty salon in Atlanta. “Hill’s salon offered a much-needed safe space for the Black, LGBTQIA+ residents of Atlanta and its surrounding areas,” Gaye Magazine reports.

Hill “wanted to cultivate a space of safety where you can also get the affirming look and style you want, and he did exactly that,” Mathieu-East wrote on Instagram, noting that Black barbershop culture can sometimes be homophobic, and Hill provided an alternative.

Hill's partner, of six years, Terri Wilson, told WXIA, "He just wanted it to be a safe haven for the community."

And his friend Derek Baugh told the Human Rights Campaign, "The loss of Chevy is devastating to not only the Atlanta trans community and his family but to the world. Chevy was a bright light whose mission it was to help others shine on their own. I met Chevy when I founded my organization Ubuntu that focuses on serving Black transgender men. Chevy was one of the first people to ever support me and the organization. He faithfully attended our group, even on weeks when there were two participants-he always showed up. He was well known for his skill as a barber and for welcoming people of all genders and sexual orientations into his barbershop, Evollusion. He was such a good guy with a big heart and he deserved better than this. I will miss seeing him. I want people to understand that gender-based violence affects trans men in a despairing way too. Although he is now a risen ancestor, we must continue to lift his name & others in the struggle against gender-based violence."

Another friend, Sylvester XX, told HRC, "Chevy’s memory will be forever etched in my mind, heart and spirit. I met this amazingly caring and head strong human many years ago on his search for affirming resources. His ability to motivate, protect and take care of those he loved was evident from the first time we spoke. Familial support was so paramount to Chevy. So for his life to be taken this way is very disheartening. Some of the larger conversations we have to have are about mental health in Black communities, how rampant gun violence is in this nation, the heightened violence BIPOC TGNC (transgender and gender nonconforming) masculine people endure and how Black communities of marginalized people face overlapping social and economic determinants that no other communities have to navigate. Society learns to devalue Black and trans people’s lives through the many false narratives that have been created and spread by those who oppose LGBTQ+ equality. So, it is important to remind society that we all are human, we all deserve protection and policies in place to keep us safe. Chevy may not have known his true impact, but his legacy and the way he showed up for his community will continue to inspire and change the lives of people who look like him."

Evollusion posted on Facebook about Hill’s death and thanked those who had offered condolences. “We know the awesome person Righteous was, but seeing the place he holds in you guys heart brings some joy to our difficult days,” the post reads.

Hill “was a beloved son, brother, partner, and father,” Mathieu-East added.

Verna Hill Wilcox, Chevy's mother, told GLAAD her son had let his cousin Jaylen, who was going through some difficulties, stay at his home but that Jaylen had begun to abuse Chevy's generosity. “TK had apparently purchased him uniforms and shoes to start another job,” Wilcox said. “TK had finally reached a point where it was like, no matter what we do for you, you still have a sense of entitlement, and you’re not showing us the respect and love we’re showing you.”

“TK got into a verbal altercation with Jaylen,” she continued. “He was chastising him for using their stuff. Terri let them use their vehicle, and he stayed gone for four hours. When he came back, he had an attitude about somebody else’s merchandise, and TK reprimanded him for that and told him to leave.” She believes that led to the shooting.

The National Black Justice Coalition released this statement from Victoria Kirby York, director of public policy and programs: “My heart breaks for Chevy and all who knew and loved him. The work he did to create a safe space for Black LGBTQ+/SGL people where they can receive affirming looks and styles without fear of harassment or judgment is incredible and will continue to impact his community and inspire the world. However, it makes you think about how much more he could have achieved had his life not ended so soon. Our people are constantly showing up and showing out for each other to ensure we have spaces to be free as our authentic selves without fear of violence. We need those who purport to care about our community to do the same thing, to protect us against the violence Chevy and too many others in the Black trans community experience. We urge Congress to pass the Chyna Gibson Stop the Transgender Murder Epidemic Act of 2023.”

Anyone with information that may lead to an arrest is asked to contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta at its tip line, (404) 577-TIPS (8477), online at crimestoppersatlanta.org, or by texting CSA and the tip to CRIME (274637). Detective R. Graham is the lead Investigator in this case. His phone number is (404) 270-7069.

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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.