Black Trans Woman Brandi Bledsoe Is At Least the 23rd Trans Person Murdered This Year in US

Not even a week ago we were reporting on the murder of another Black trans woman, Jazz Alford, and now, here we are again. I’m extremely sorry to report that this time her name is Brandi Bledsoe, and she was 32 years old and she was from Cleveland, Ohio. As so often happens, Bledsoe is being misgendered in news and police reports about her murder. She was properly identified as the woman she was by family who talked to She worked at Home Depot and also was an artist and animator.

“She wasn’t very outgoing before she told us,” John Craggett, Bledsoe’s cousin told “She just wasn’t happy with who she was. When she told us, she was honestly a lot better as Brandi. She was happy.” He added that “She was really beautiful, she was really sweet and nice. That’s what bugs the crap out of me about this. Whoever did this can rot in hell.”Johnnie Ledbetter, Bledsoe’ grandfather agrees that she was a kind and happy woman after coming out and being able to live as herself. “We got a long great when she lived with me. I wish she was around more after she moved out.”

Her cousin said after moving out of her grandfather’s house, she had a whole new life ahead of her. “A lot of opportunities opened up for her. She was looking for freedom,” he said. Now all those opportunities and all that freedom has been taken from her.

She joins this ever growing list of other trans people murdered in the US this year. And, remember, these are just the trans people who have been murdered that we know about, there are probably many more who have gone unreported, whether it’s because they were misgendered or homeless or sex workers or some other reason. Trans women of color are being murdered at a massive rate and it doesn’t look like it’s stopping. We’ve added way too many names to this list this year and way too many in the last month.

Monica Loera, 43

Jasmine Sierra, 52

Kayden Clarke, 24

Veronica Banks Cano, 40

Maya Young, 25

Demarkis Stansberry, 30

Kedarie/Kandicee Johnson, 16

Kourtney Yochum, 32

Shante Thompson, 34

Keyonna Blakeney, 22

Reecey Walker, 32

Mercedes Successful, 32

Amos Beede, 38

Goddess Diamond, 20

Dee Dee Dodds, 22

Dee Whigham, 25

Skye Mockabee, 26

Erykah Tijerina, 36

Rae’Lynn Thomas, 28

T.T., 27

Crystal Edmonds, 32

Jazz Alford, 30

Brandi Bledsoe, 32

Please read these names. Say these names. Spread these names, and remember these names. But please, don’t stop there, please take action. Contact your representatives to get laws changed. Trans women often face the rates of violence we do partially because we can’t get jobs, we can’t find housing and we can’t get IDs that have our real names and genders on them. Talk with the men in your life. Most of the trans women who are murdered are Black and Brown trans women who are attacked by intimate partners, most of who are men. When racism, homophobia, transmisogyny and sexism combine, they form a deadly mix. Support the trans women, especially trans women of color, who are still alive. We need to make changes if we want to see this stop.

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Mey Rude is a fat, trans, Latina lesbian living in LA. She's a writer, journalist, and a trans consultant and sensitivity reader. You can follow her on twitter, or go to her website if you want to hire her.

Mey has written 572 articles for us.


  1. Infuriating and heartbreaking. The national trend (can we just call it an epidemic already?) is disgusting–and I’m honestly concerned that there’s even more specific targeting going on given that this is the 3rd murder of a trans woman in the last *9 weeks* in Ohio. That can’t be coincidence.

    Please take care of each other, and reach out for help/support if you need it.

    A friend in the know recommends the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization specifically for help in Ohio: they “provide comprehensive individual and community programs for survivor advocacy and support to LGBTQI survivors of hate and bias violence, discrimination, intimate partner violence, stalking, and/or sexual assault.”

  2. I came over from AE and even though this is a sad column, I’m glad to see that you cover trans women issues regularly at Autostraddle. Thank you!

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