An eighteen-year-old Black trans woman was shot to death last week outside a Maryland bar.
Tasiyah “Siyah” Woodland was shot multiple times in the parking lot of the Big Dogs in Paradise bar, located in Mechanicsville, Maryland. Police do not believe her gender identity played a role in her murder. They also say the shooting was an isolated incident, according toWMAR, which deadnamed Woodland.
On a GoFundMe page for funeral expenses, Woodland’s aunt Lizzy called her “a women who was high spirited and protective of those she loved.”
“She loved to have a good time, smile and laugh and spend time with her family She was never too far when you needed her.”
Lizzy went on to explain that Woodland came out as trans after her mom died, adding that she was “accepted with open arms” by her family.
“For the years that god gave us her, she was a joy and made sure everyone she was around knew that they were loved.”
Police are asking anyone with information to contact Detective David Lawrence at 301-475-4200, ext. 78130, or by email at [email protected].
Woodland is the eighth known trans person to be killed by violence in 2023. Based on information provided by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), six of the eight the victims have been trans women of color. One victim was a queer and non-binary indigenous person, and another was a white trans woman.
Last November, HRC reported that at least 38 transgender and gender nonconforming people were killed in the U.S. in 2022. Black trans women comprised 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.
On Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, blogger Sue Kerr mourned the loss of Woodland.
“Someone shot and killed an 18 year old young woman and left her to die alone in the parking lot of a bar,” Kerr wrote. “Someone called 911. Did they stay with her? Did they hold her hand? Did they see the shooter(s)?”
“Will her name be said around the world as with other recent killings of white trans teens?”
Kerr continued, “The intersections of her identities were sources of wondrous strength and joy for Siyah, but we must remember that they left her exceptionally vulnerable in a world that tolerates murdering children and finding a reason to blame them for their own death.”
She concluded by speaking directly to Woodland: “May your memory be a revolution.”