Thursday, June 1, 2023

Ava Le’Ray Barrin, 17, Is The Youngest Trans Murder Victim Of 2017 (So Far)

This past Sunday morning in Athens, Georgia, a 17-year-old girl named Ava Le’Ray Barrin became the fourteenth transgender person to be reported killed this year.

Her murder is the latest in a crisis of violence that continues to predominantly affect black transgender women.

Houston-based transgender blogger and advocate Monica Roberts was the first to report that a shooting victim described using male pronouns in Monday reports by the Athens Banner-Herald and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was, in fact, Ava Le’Ray Barrin.

As Roberts noted in her initial post, Barrin is now the youngest transgender person to be murdered this year—the next youngest was an 18-year-old black transgender woman named Jaquarrius Holland, who was shot in the head in Monroe, Louisiana, this February.

“What saddens and infuriates us as an organization that seeks to represent and empower Black trans women is that Ava was just 17 years old and hadn’t even had a chance to follow her dreams yet,” the organization Black Transwomen, Inc.—for which Roberts serves as media chair—wrote in a statement.

At 2017’s midway point, there have already been over half the number of reported murders as there were in 2016—a number that fell somewhere between 22 and 27, according to varying estimates from LGBT rights groups. The vast majority of transgender victims in 2017 have been black transgender women.

Behind those alarming numbers are tragic stories of brutal violence and unimaginable loss—stories about transgender women being shot, repeatedly stabbed, their bodies callously discarded. This April, for example, 27-year-old transgender woman Kenne McFadden was found floating in the San Antonio River after an apparent homicide.


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