Yet Another Black Transgender Woman Killed; Friends Up in Arms Because She Was Misgendered

Celine Walker (Naomi Michaels via Facebook screenshot)
Celine Walker (Naomi Michaels via Facebook screenshot)

Another transgender woman was killed this month, this time in Jacksonville, Fla., making it the second trans killing within a week.


According to The Advocate, on Feb. 4, 36-year-old Celine Walker was found shot to death in an Extended Stay America hotel at about 8 p.m. and pronounced dead at the scene.

The Advocate reports that the Florida Sun Times-Union misgendered Walker, referring to her as a man, based on information given to it by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

A friend of Walker’s posted on Facebook that she called the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to correct the record, but was told that the department does not refer to people as transgender.

“There are several parts of this story that disturb me very much,” Naomi Michaels wrote on Facebook. “One is that Jacksonville is home to some of the most amazingly talented Transwomen I know,” she began. “That being said you’d think that this city could have some type of policy for dealing with the death and murder of trans people. They don’t.”

She then asked that folks contact the police and media in response to the misgendering of Walker.


As reported by The Root just days ago, 35-year-old Tonya “Kita” Harvey of Buffalo, N.Y., was killed Feb. 6, just days after Walker.


Monique Judge reports:

On Jan. 5, trans activist Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien was killed in North Adams, Mass. … On Jan. 10, Viccky Gutierrez was killed in a fire in her apartment complex. Authorities in Los Angeles are calling the fire “suspicious.”


Judge reports that Harvey was misgendered, too.

According to Healthline, misgendering occurs when “people continue to refer to a person who is transgender, nonbinary, or gender nonconforming using terms related to how they identified before transition.”


Many police departments and the media, which report what police tell them, are guilty of misgendering. Misgendering is not only offensive to gender-nonconforming people but also may alter statistics regarding the deaths of trans people because they are not referred to as such by police or media.

Police ask that anyone with information about Walker’s death contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500 or via email at, or contact First Coast Crime Stoppers at 866-845-8477 (TIPS).

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.


"Not a real" DrDonna

The sad thing is, oftentimes trans folks also get misgendered by unsupportive family too. You’d be amazed and disgusted by how many folks have been buried under a headstone that bears a name they fought to get away from, since their family is the one making the final decision. Just look at the case of Leelah Alcorn.

This is also why I have such a jaundiced eye for those armchair statisticians from the article last week. This stuff is seriously underreported/ misreported, and that means that any “statistics” about murder rates based on the reported number of trans people killed are by their very nature unreliable.