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Remembering those lost in 2022

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Photo by Nothing Ahead / Pexels
Photo by Nothing Ahead / Pexels

2022 has been a rough year for many in the Queer community. While much has been lost, from people to institutions, the continued importance of supporting those around us, cherishing those who are still here, and remembering those who are not is not lost. As the year rolls to an end, may we all take a moment to reflect on who we lost and the legacies they have left behind.

Remembering lives lost at Club Q

Derrick Rump, Daniel Ashton, Ashley Paugh, Kelly Loving, and Raymond Green Vance — Courtesy photos  

On Saturday, November 19, an armed assailant opened fire on patrons of Club Q, a Gay bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Thanks to the quick action of brave bar patrons, the shooter was disarmed, but not before they had injured 19 and killed 5. The people who lost their lives in Club Q should never have had to worry about danger when going to a bar. Their lives were cut short by hatred and bigotry. They don't deserve to be remembered forever as victims, as reasons to fear the consequences of expressing Queer joy. So instead, we will remember them for who they were: complex, loving, brave people.

Derrick Rump was the heart of Club Q. He was a kind man who expressed joy and love to everyone around him. His friends described him as "pint-sized" and "the energy of Club Q." He loved his job as a bartender, and patrons and coworkers alike said he made the bar feel like home. Rump was lively and known to bop to Britney Spears.

Rump was 38 and a transplant to Colorado from Pennsylvania. He worked several odd jobs around Colorado Springs before finding his perfect fit at Club Q. He was protective and was the first to step in when a bar fight broke out, despite his small stature. He was "out and proud," as many of his friends have reported. He loved being a Gay man and loved the community that he found in support of his identity.

Daniel Ashton was a bar supervisor at Club Q. "He was the best supervisor anybody could've asked for," one of his coworkers, Michael Anderson later recalled. "He made me want to come in to work, and he made me want to be a part of the positive culture we were trying to create there." Ashton's demeanor made him popular with everyone he met.

Ashton was friendly to everyone, even as a child. He came out to his parents as a toddler, but he wouldn't come out officially until a decade later. He was an entertainer at heart, a poet, a dramatist, and a lover of fashion.

Ashley Paugh was a caregiver. She spent her life taking care of and showing love to those most in need. Above all, however, she was a mother. Her daughter, Ryleigh, was "her whole world," her family said in a statement released after her death.

Paugh worked at a nonprofit called Kids Crossing, where she helped foster children connect with adoptive parents. She was a fierce ally to the LGBTQ+ community who often helped Queer parents get into fostering. She was also an avid outdoorswoman who loved to spend her downtime hunting, fishing, and riding four-wheelers.

Kelly Loving had the most perfect name. To everyone around her, she was a gift, but especially to the Trans community, where she often took on the role of "Trans mother." She was a fearless mentor to many. Loving was full of confidence, which she used to help young Trans people see how wonderful their lives could be.

"She was fearless. She was a welcoming person. She would give you the shirt off her back if you were asking for it, or the last dollar to her name, she would give it to you. She would give anything and everything to anyone," one of her close friends, Natalee Skye Bingham said of Loving, who embodied the meaning of sisterhood through everything she did.

Raymond Green Vance was a hard worker who had just secured a new job with FedEx. The 22-year-old was saving up his paychecks so he could move out of his mother's home and into his apartment with his longtime girlfriend. Vance loved video games and hoped to turn his passion for them into a career as a streamer online.

Vance loved his family and especially his girlfriend, Kassy Fierro, whom he had been dating since they were in middle school. He spent most of his free time with her and would often talk about what their future together might look like. He was a selfless person who was always putting the needs of others above his own.

Remembering Washington Activists

Sandy Williams, Erez Benari, Robert Masters, Lester Gruner, and Sheldon Jacobs — Courtesy photos  

Activists are the heart and soul of the LGBTQ+ community, often working long and grueling hours to help make the places they call home safer and more welcoming for the next generation. This year, we lost several valuable activists, far too soon.

Sandy Williams was a racial justice activist in Spokane, WA. She founded the activist newspaper The Black Lens and the Carl Maxey Community Center as hubs for the Black community in Eastern Washington. Her dedication to BIPOC communities in Spokane was monumental, and she was well-known for not only her activism but also her ability to get things done. She served on the board of the Carl Maxey Community Center as well as being editor of The Black Lens.

Sandy and her partner, Patricia Hicks, were two of the victims of the Whidbey Island seaplane accident that claimed the lives of ten people on September 4th.

Erez Benari was a Seattle local, an activist, and a doctor loved by many. He spent much of his life advocating for polyamory activism throughout the LGBTQ+ community. Unfortunately, he also struggled with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and chronic kidney disease. Benari decided to end his own life via euthanasia surrounded by his many loving partners on November 6.

Robert Masters was an active member of Seattle's LGBTQ+ community after moving to Washington with his partner Larry in 1989. Masters and Larry spent 53 years together, entertaining friends, watching football, and traveling to six different continents. Masters is remembered as a kind, loving, and considerate person.

Lester Gruner was a well-known face on Capitol Hill. He moved to Seattle in 1982 and quickly made friends in Seattle's Queer community. Gruner was an avid adventurer, albeit not an outdoorsman per se. He loved to explore new places with his many friends, volunteered with the Pride Foundation, and was a doting pet parent to his two cats and Great Dane.

Sheldon Jacobs was a leader in Seattle's leather community. Born in 1928, he lived a life of adventure and glamor. Jacobs served in the US army, performed on Broadway in New York City, and toured the country singing in the 1960s. He was named Seattle's Leather Grandad in 1995.

Remembering LGBTQ+ Celebrities

Kevin Conroy, Aaron Carter, Patrick Haggerty, Leslie Jordan — Courtesy photos  

Kevin Conroy was perhaps best known as Batman. He voiced the iconic character in hundreds of cartoons and film adaptations of the classic comic. On November 10, at age 66, he lost his battle with intestinal cancer. Conroy faced discrimination throughout his career as a voice actor and, as a result, remained publicly closeted for much of his life. He came out as Gay in 2016, and in 2022 he published the autobiographical "Finding Batman" — about his journey as a Gay man — in the DC Comics DC Pride anthology.

Aaron Carter was an American rapper, singer, and songwriter. He rose to popularity in the 90s with his studio album Aaron's Party (Come Get It) and opened for several mainstream talents like the Backstreet Boys and Britney Spears. Carter came out as Bisexual in 2017 on Twitter. He died on November 5 in his home in Lancaster, California, at the age of 34.

Patrick Haggerty was the first openly Gay country singer in the United States. He formed his band, Lavender Country, in Seattle Washington in 1972, and he released the first Gay country music album in music history. From 2001 to 2003 he fronted Doug Stevens & the Outband and also released an album with Pearl River in 2003. He died of complications from a stroke on October 31 at the age of 78.

Leslie Jordan was an American actor best known for his roles in Will and Grace and American Horror Story. He was very outspoken about his identity as a Gay man. During the AIDS crisis, he became involved in AIDS Project Los Angeles, providing food and comfort to those suffering. He received an Emmy for his portrayal of Beverley Leslie in Will and Grace in 2006.

Jordan became a viral sensation on TikTok during the COVID-19 lockdown, providing comedic relief through his content. He also released an album of gospel music in 2021 called Company's Comin'. He died on October 24 while driving to the set of his latest sitcom, Call Me Kat, when he experienced a medical episode behind the wheel and crashed his car into the side of a building. He was 67 years old.

Remembering Seattle institutions

Courtesy photos  

Often the places we gather can feel more like characters in our lives than simple locations. This year, Seattle lost several well-established businesses.

Seattle Counseling Services closed its doors in April after nearly 50 years of serving the community. "Many factors have led the Seattle Counseling Service board to make this decision, mainly financial," SCS leadership said in an announcement earlier this year.

Several Capitol Hill restaurants and cafes closed their doors due to financial hardship as well. After 25 years of business, Joe Bar, a popular Capitol Hill cafe, closed its doors in October. Glo's, a well-known Capitol Hill diner, closed its doors due to a fire that damaged the exterior and walls of the building. The owner, Julie Reisman, has plans to open up a new Glo's location near the light rail station soon. On October 29, Kedai Makan, a Malaysian restaurant known by many to be the best Malaysian food in Seattle, permanently closed its doors as well.

In the Roosevelt neighborhood, Wayward Vegan Cafe closed its doors after having been open since 2004. The popular restaurant was known for making vegan versions of American comfort foods. Eastlake Bar and Grill, a neighborhood gathering spot for many, also shut down to make way for apartment buildings that will begin construction at the beginning of the year. After 39 years in business, Hale's Ales, an iconic craft beer joint in Fremont, will also be closing, due to the retirement of owner Mike Hale.


A tribute brought to you in partnership with Seattle Pride

Diamond Jackson- McDonald
• 27-year-old Black Trans woman
• Remembered by loved ones as a "loving person" and "gem"
• Killed on Thanksgiving Day in Philadelphia

Daniel Aston
• 28-year-old Trans man
• One of two Trans people killed in the Club Q mass shooting in Colorado on November 20, 2022
• Bartender at Club Q
• Parents described him as "the happiest he had ever been."

Kelly Loving
• 40-year-old Trans woman
• One of two Trans people killed in the Club Q shooting in Colorado on November 20, 2022
• Described by her sister as "loving" and someone "always trying to help the next person out instead of thinking of herself. She was just a caring person."

Tiffany Banks
• 25-year-old Black Trans woman
• Killed in Miami on October 1, 2022
• Family and friends describe her as a "sociable and beautiful butterfly"
• She loved to sing and dance

Semaj Billingslea
• 33-year-old Black Trans man
• Graduate from of Florida Youth Academy and a student at Florida State College in Jacksonville
• Fan of Megan Thee Stallion
• Killed on September 21 in Jacksonville, Florida

Acey Morrison
• 30-year-old Two-Spirit person
• Described as "kind- hearted, down to earth, joyous, respectful, and loving"
• Remembered as always being there for friends and family
• Shot in Rapid City, South Dakota, on August 21, 2022

Mya Allen
• 35-year-old Black Trans woman
• Loved fashion and makeup
• Member of Sisters Helping Each Other Battle Adversity (SHEBA)
• Killed on August 29th in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Dede Ricks
• 33-year-old Black Trans woman
• Shot in Detroit on August 27th, 2022
• A suspect has been arrested and charged with murder and felony firearm

Maddie Hofmann
• 47-year-old Trans woman born in Korea and raised in the US by their adoptive family
• Killed by police in Malvern, Pennsylvania on May 19, 2022
• She was one of six siblings and shared a close bond with her youngest sister, who was also adopted from Korea

Aaron Lynch
• 26-year-old Trans man
• Shot and killed by police in McLean, Virginia on July 7th, 2022
• Was experiencing a mental health crisis and was first initially unsuccessfully tased by police after some back- and- forth discourse
• He was shot four times by an officer

Kandii "'Dee Dee"' Redd
• 29 -year-old Black Trans woman
• Killed in Kansas City on July 24, 2022
• She was a model and a performer
• She was originally misgendered in police reports. Police also believe her murder came occurred after an argument with an intimate partner

Hayden Davis
• 28 -year-old Black Trans woman
• Loved fashion and the Kardashians, skincare and makeup
• Killed in Detroit on July 25, 2022, after jumping out of a moving vehicle and fleeing her murderer on foot

Marisela Castro
• 39-year-old Latina Trans woman
• Killed at her birthday celebration in the North Shore neighborhood of Houston, Texas
• Was described as a bright and sunny person
• She was an immigrant from Honduras

Cherry Bush
• 48-year-old Trans woman
• She was experiencing homelessness
• Killed on July 5, 2022, after being targeted and disparaged due to her gender identity
• A suspect has been arrested and charged with murder and a hate crime

Keshia Chanel Geter
• 26-year-old Black Trans woman
• Killed in Augusta, Georgia, while traveling with a friend on July 20, 2022
• Her mother believes she was killed explicitly because she was Trans
• A suspect has been arrested

Martasia Richmond
• 30-year-old Black Trans woman
• Killed in Chicago on July 11, 2022
• Police believe her death to be the result of domestic violence

Kitty Monroe
• Black Trans woman
• Mother to four small dogs named Chyna, Milan, Tokyo, and London
• Killed outside Memphis in Cordova, Tennessee, on June 29, 2022
• Her death is suspected to be the result of domestic violence

Shawmaynè Giselle Marie
• 27-year-old Black Trans woman
• Certified nursing assistant and who scheduled to begin working as a travel CNA a week after her death
• Killed in Gulfport, Mississippi, on June 21, 2022
• Her 14-year-old sister was also shot at the time
• She was deadnamed in original reports
• She was is remembered for her perfect makeup, love for Nikki Minaj, and willingness to twerk at the slightest opportunity

Brazil Johnson
• Black Trans woman
• LGBTQ+ activist and member of Diverse and Reslient
• Talented chef
• Killed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 15, 2022

Sasha Mason
• 45-year-old Latina Trans woman
• Killed on May 13, 2022, in Zebulon, North Carolina
• Remembered by friends and family as a "sweet, kind, generous person with a beautiful smile."
• Police have arrested two suspects they think are involved in the robbery-homicide that led to her death. Police believe the attack was targeted and that she knew the suspects

Chanelika Y'Ella Dior Hemingway
• 30-year-old Black Trans woman
• Graduate from of Albany High School, Hudson Valley Community College, and University of Albany
• Recipient of the 2022 Spellman Academic Achievement Award

Nedra Sequence Morris
• 50-year-old Black Trans woman
• Killed on May 14, 2022, in Opa Locka, Florida
• More than 100 people showed up to a vigil for her at the intersection where her body was found

Ray Muscat
• 24-year-old Trans man
• Worked at a grocery store
• Killed on May 8, 2022, when he was shot by his girlfriend in Independence Township, Michigan
• According to police reports, his girlfriend also killed her brother before killing herself the next day

Fern Feather
• 29-year-old Trans woman (she/they)
• Killed in Morristown, Vermont, on April 12, 2022
• Said to "bring joy" to everyone around her
• Loved animals, especially birds

Ariyanna Mitchell
• 17-year-old Black Trans girl
• Killed on April 2, 2022, in Hampton, Virginia while attending a party and attempting to defend her friend in a fight She was shot after being asked whether she was a girl or a boy
• Described as "truly unique, funny, and loved by everyone"
• Local media initially deadnamed and misgendered her in their original reports
• Police reported that her family misgendered her as well, although her obituary contradicted that

Miia Love Parker
• 25-year-old Black Trans woman
• Killed in Chester, Pennsylvania, on April 1, 2022
• Described as a "bright light in many lives"
• Fan of the show Pose

Kenyatta "'Kesha"' Webster
• 24-year-old Black Trans woman
• Found dead in Jackson, Mississippi, on March 26, 2022
• Over one hundred people attended a memorial balloon release in her honor
• Her mother, who she was very close with, is still demanding justice for her daughter

Kathryn "'Katie'" Newhouse
• 19-year-old AAPI, neurodivergent Trans woman
• Killed by her father in Georgia on March 19, 2022
• Her father had previously been arrested for assaulting her when she was 16
• Passionate about hiking, sightseeing, and advocating for Trans rights

Tatiana Labelle
• 33-year-old Black Trans woman
• Fan of Mariah Carey and Patti Labelle
• Found dead in Chicago on March 18, 2022
• Detectives are still investigating her death but have ruled it a homicide
• Tatiana has repeatedly been misgendered in several police reports

Paloma Vazquez
• 29 -year-old Latina Trans woman
• Member of the Organización Latina de Trans en Texas, an organization for Trans Latina women in Houston
• Shot on February 22, 2022
• She had just moved into her new apartment and was excited to decorate it
• She immigrated to America the United States just six months before her death

Matthew Angelo Spampinato
• 21-year-old Trans man
• Victim of a hit-and-run on February 9, 2022, in New Castle, Delaware
• Worked as a barista at Starbucks
• Described by coworkers as "selfless"
• Matthew was in his first year of physical transition, after waiting four years to finally get a prescription for testosterone. He said he first knew he was Trans when he was 13

Naomie Skinner
• 25 -year-old Black Trans woman
• Fatally shot by her boyfriend on February 12, 2022, new near Detroit in Highland Park, Michigan
• Described by her friends as "very outstanding" and her sister said she lived a "fabulous life"

Cypress Ramos
• 21 -year-old Latina Trans woman
• Found dead in a storage unit on February 12th in Lubbock, Texas
• A suspect has been charged with her murder. He claimed to have first seen her when she was leaving the restroom
• She was a local drag performer as well

Duval Princess
• 24 -year-old Black Trans woman
• Hairstylist in Jacksonville, Florida, who specialized in wigs and weaves
• Described as "sweet and genuine"
• Had just come out as a Trans woman
• Shot to death on January 3rd, 2022

Amariey Lei
• 20-year-old Black Trans woman
• Dancer and coach for the Lady Diamonds, a hip-hop and majorette dance team
• Killed on January 1, 2022
• Police have yet to find any leads on who may have killed her


• The majority of the Trans people killed in 2022 were women and BIPOC.
• The majority of the deaths were the result of gunshot wounds.
21% of murdered Trans people are in an intimate relationship with their murderer.
• While 32 Trans people were reported murdered in the U.S. in 2022, the number is likely much higher because many murders go unreported or victims are misgendered.

2022 has been a year of many losses, but through it all, we are reminded to hold those dear to us a little closer, to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us, and to not put off our dreams. Here's to 2023: may we heal through the pain, thrive through struggle, and find glamor in every day.