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Post submitted by former HRC Digital Media Manager Helen Parshall

HRC is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Claire Legato, a Black transgender woman fatally shot in Cleveland.

Local media reports that Legato, 21, was shot in the head on April 15 after an argument broke out between her mother and John Booth, the suspected shooter. She was taken to a nearby hospital and died from her injuries on May 14.

Booth has been charged with felonious assault in connection with the shooting, and local police have issued a warrant for his arrest, according to Gay Star News.

Friends and family took to social media to mourn Legato’s death, remembering her as someone who was “full of life.”

“Love you, cousin,” wrote one person. “I’m hurt, sad, angry all in one. Fly high.”

Legato’s death is the third known case of deadly violence against the transgender community in 2019. Last year, advocates tracked the deaths of at least 26 transgender people, the majority of whom were Black transgender women.

In November, ahead of Transgender Day of Remembrance, HRC Foundation released "A National Epidemic: Fatal Anti-Transgender Violence in America in 2018," a heartbreaking report honoring the trans people killed and detailing the contributing and motivating factors that lead to this tragic violence. Of the more than 130 known victims of anti-transgender violence from 2013 to present, nearly two-thirds of those killed were victims of gun violence.

It is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia conspire to deprive them of necessities to live and thrive.

This epidemic of violence that disproportionately targets transgender people of color -- particularly Black transgender women -- must cease.

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

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