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Post submitted by Liam Miranda, former Senior Research Manager, Public Education & Research

HRC mourns the tragic loss of Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, 42, in the first known case of deadly violence against the transgender community in 2018. A local news outlet reports that she was found dead in her home on Friday night in North Adams, Massachusetts.

According to reports, Leigh Steele-Knudslien’s husband, Mark, turned himself in Friday night, admitting to killing his wife. He will be arraigned on a murder charge today.

Transgender advocate Monica Roberts on her TransGriot blog writes about Steele-Knudslien’s life, legacy and lasting impact on the community. Steele-Knudslien, Roberts notes, organized and produced the Miss Trans New England and other pageants, and was loved and known by many in both the local and national trans community.

Steele-Knudslien’s death comes after HRC Foundation and the Trans People of Color Coalition released a report documenting the senseless acts of violence that made 2017 the deadliest year on record for transgender people, particularly for trans women of color.

To learn more about HRC’s transgender justice work, visit

Filed under: Community, Transgender

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