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The murder of a 25-year-old transgender woman in Shreveport, Louisiana has sent the city’s queer community into mourning.
Make-up artist Pooh Johnson, also known professionally as, Titanizer Mua, died August 23 of multiple gunshot wounds. Police discovered her body inside her vehicle; a motive for her killing, including if Johnson’s gender identity played a role in her murder, remains unclear at this time.
Gay City News reports that Johnson is the 35th transgender or gender non-conforming American murdered this year. 2020 saw 44 such killings in the United States.
“My heart breaks hearing the news about Pooh Johnson,” said Victoria Kirby York, deputy executive director of The National Black Justice Coalition. “This epidemic of violence continues to take life after life and each senseless loss is devastating. The trans and nonbinary community needs support in this moment and they need protection. Lawmakers must introduce and pass legislation that will prioritize the safety of trans and gender-nonconforming people.”
“Law enforcement must work to hold those responsible for these murders accountable,” Kirby York added. “Community members must put pressure on lawmakers and law enforcement to ensure the work gets done. We all must continue to fight back against the transphobia and bias that contributes to the violence we see.”
Johnson’s murder is the latest in a number of attacks on LGBTQ people worldwide. In the UK this week, a gay man was left bloodied and screaming following a homophobic attack. Earlier this summer, the killing of a gay man ignited mass protests across Spain. In May, a transgender woman in New York lost her life in an apparent hate crime.