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Demarkis Stansberry and the Continuing Crisis of Violence Against Transgender People

by Beth Sherouse March 02, 2016

Advocates learned yesterday that Demarkis Stansberry, a 30-year-old transgender man from Baton Rouge, La., was fatally shot last Saturday. An acquaintance, Nicholas Matthews, turned himself into police later that day and confessed to shooting Stansberry in the head.  

The first two months of 2016 have tragically been marked––much like the year that preceded them––with deadly violence against transgender people, particularly transgender people of color. In addition to the fatal stabbing of Maya Young last week and the fatal shooting of Monica Loera, two other transgender people of color, Veronica Banks Cano of San Antonio and Nino Acox Jackson of Dallas, also died in recent weeks under suspicious circumstances. And in January, 24-year-old Kayden Clarke, a transgender man from Arizona, was shot and killed by police in his home, after they responded to a call that Kayden was threatening suicide.

These tragic deaths are part of a large epidemic of violence against transgender people, which led HRC and the Trans People of Color Coalition to publish a report last year on factors that contribute to anti-transgender violence––issues like poverty, racism, housing and job discrimination, barriers to accessing healthcare and emergency shelter services––and calling on policymakers and advocates to make meaningful changes.

This violence claimed at least 21 victims last year, the vast majority of whom were transgender women of color.

HRC extends our condolences to the friends and family of Demarkis Stansberry.

For more information on addressing anti-transgender violence, visit

Beth Sherouse
Beth Sherouse


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