Community News

29th trans person killed in the US 

Rachel Badham June 23, 2021

EJ Boykin, a 23-year-old trans man, is the 29th trans person to have been killed in the US this year after he was shot in Lynchburg, Virginia on June 14. According to an American LGBTQ+ blog, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, Boykin was also known by some as Novaa Watson, and was studying at Morgan State University. It is believed he may have been a parent to a young child who “may have been present at the scene of the shooting but was uninjured.” 

He was transported to Lynchburg General Hospital after being shot, but later died from his injuries. The Lynchburg Police Department said there is no evidence to suggest his death was a hate crime, and it is unclear if any suspects have been identified. Torri Chippe, a close friend of Boykin, said he was “loved” by many, adding: “He was one of those people that was just good vibes and energy.”

Following the news of Boykin’s death, Tori Cooper, the Human Rights Campaign’s director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, said: “EJ’s death marks the fifth trans man killed this year, and yet another death of a Black trans person. The level of fatal violence we’ve recorded this year is higher than we’ve ever seen.”

She continued: “All of these individuals deserved to live. We must strike at the roots of racism and transphobia, and continue to work toward justice and equality for trans and gender non-conforming people.”