LaKendra Andrews, a 26-year-old Black transgender woman, was tragically shot and killed on the streets of Dallas earlier this year. Her death initially went unreported in the larger LGBTQ+ community due to her being misgendered in initial media reports. The Dallas Police Department discovered Andrews with a gunshot wound on the 200 block of S. Jim Miller Road on the morning of April 29. Despite efforts by Dallas Fire-Rescue, she succumbed to her injuries.
Celebrating LaKendra’s Life
Andrews, originally from Shreveport, Louisiana, moved to Texas with her family and was an alumna of James Madison High School and Dallas College’s Eastfield Campus. She had a passion for baking, cooking, dance, drawing, and music, and was a fervent fan of Nicki Minaj. Andrews also ran her own nonprofit organization, showcasing her dedication to community service.
Advocacy for Correct Gender Identification
The misgendering of Andrews in early reports obscured the true nature of her tragic demise. Tori Cooper, director of community engagement at the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), emphasized the importance of law enforcement not deadnaming or misgendering transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. Cooper highlighted that Andrews proudly embraced her identity and deserved to be honored correctly in death.
A Pattern of Violence Against Trans People
Andrews is one among over 20 trans, nonbinary, or gender-nonconforming individuals who have fallen victim to violence in the U.S. this year, with a majority being women of color. HRC’s tracking reveals a disturbing trend of gun violence disproportionately affecting this community, particularly Black trans women.
Ongoing Investigation and Call for Information
The investigation into Andrews’s murder is still ongoing. Dallas Police are urging anyone with information about the case to come forward. A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to an arrest and indictment in this case. This underscores the ongoing struggle for justice and safety within the transgender community.
Remembering LaKendra Andrews
The story of LaKendra Andrews serves as a poignant reminder of the dangers faced by transgender individuals, especially trans women of color. Her life and untimely death highlight the need for accurate representation and reporting, as well as the urgent call for societal change to protect and respect the transgender community. Andrews’s legacy continues to resonate as advocates and allies fight for justice and equality in her memory.