Black Trans Woman Tierramarie Lewis Murdered in Cleveland, Deadnaming Delayed Proper News Coverage
Updated: Aug 11, 2021
Tierramarie Lewis found shot dead in a residential neighborhood on June 12th. Delays in coverage is due to misgendering and misnaming by local officials and lack of media coverage” noted by the Human Rights campaign’s news release.
She was found after police responded to reports of gunfire The Buckeye Flame reports. She had been shot in the chest. They detected a faint pulse and tried to revive her, unfortunately she died at the hospital shortly after.
Despite her name having been legally changed to Tierremarie Lewis, the Cuyahoga County medical examiner’s office listed Lewis under her birth name and gender.
Duane Lunsford, 25, of Cleveland, has been arrested, and charged with aggravated murder and felonious assault. He has pleaded not guilty, according to Flame.
During her life, Lewis had stayed in many shelters previously, with aid from the LGBTQ Community center in Cleveland, Ohio. She had experienced transphobia in at least one, a security guard using the transphobic slurs to address her as well as male pronouns.
Below, trans social media commentator Miss Melody responds to the delay in proper news coverage of Tierramarie's murder due to deadnaming.
She is remembered by members of the Trans Wellness group, a support group that aims to uplift homeless trans people and offers referrals to resources. Eliana Turner, the director of development at the center told Flame, “I just really respected her for the fact that she walked through so much, and she still shined such a light. She only gave kindness.”
This tragedy marks the 33rd trans person to die by violence in the U.S as of the beginning of 2021, creeping closer to the total of 44 as marked by the HRC in 2020. The exact number isn’t identifiable because much like the lateness in coverage of Lewis’s murder, the misgendering and misnaming of trans people has made it impossible to report accurately.
A remembrance will be held tomorrow, Thursday August 12th at the corner of East 79th Street and Cedar Avenue in Cleveland.