News (USA)

Friends mourn transgender man killed in Philadelphia

Mar’quis (MJ) Jackson
Mar’quis (MJ) Jackson Photo: GoFundMe/Sharree Harvey

Philadelphia police are investigating the death of a 33-year-old Black transgender man as a homicide.

According to Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, Mar’Quis “MJ” Jackson celebrated his birthday on December 12 but did not return home that night. Two days later, he was found dead in the backyard of a home in the Nicetown neighborhood of Philadelphia.

Fox 29 reports that the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head. Jackson was found with an injury to the face and was pronounced dead at 4:23 p.m. on December 14. Friends told Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents’ Sue Kerr that police had detained one suspect who was later released due to lack of evidence.

Born in South Carolina, Jackson was described by friends as “full of life and love.” Sharree Harvey, who them identifies as Jackson’s twin, remembered him as an out and proud Black trans man with family support.

Jackson was a supporter of the William Way Center, an LGBTQ+ community center in Philadelphia; The Free Ky Project, which seeks to free Ky Peterson, a young Black trans man who was convicted of killing an alleged attacker in 2011; and the Transgender Legal Defense Fund as well as other organizations.

Jackson is reportedly the 39th transgender person to die as a result of violence in the U.S. this year.

According to a report released by the HRC in November and updated earlier this month, at least 34 transgender and gender nonconforming people have been killed in the U.S. in 2022. The LGBTQ+ rights organization found that Black transgender women comprise 63 percent of victims of fatal violence against trans and gender nonconforming people. Additionally, 85 percent of victims were trans women and 85 percent were people of color.

Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents‘ Kerr reports that Jackson is the 24th Black trans person, the third Black trans man, and sixth trans man reported to die violently this year.

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