HRC Mourns McKinsley LaKeith Lincoln, Black LGBTQ Person Killed in Louisiana

by Elliott Kozuch

McKinsley LaKeith Lincoln, a 29-year-old Black LGBTQ person, was killed in Alexandria, Louisiana, on May 15.

The Human Rights Campaign is deeply saddened to learn of the death of McKinsley LaKeith Lincoln, a 29-year-old Black LGBTQ person killed in Alexandria, Louisiana, on May 15. Media reports identify Lincoln as an openly gay, cisgender man. Police are looking into the possibility of a bias-motivated crime. HRC is monitoring this case for more information about Lincoln’s life and this crime.

Family reported Lincoln missing on May 15, and just hours later, local police found Lincoln dead of a gunshot wound. The police did not inform the family, who found out about the tragic death of their beloved child and sibling through news reports. Lincoln’s family, joined by the National Black Justice Coalition, are calling for a complete and thorough investigation. Police are also investigating the case as a possible hate crime.

“A criminal investigation into the unfortunate death of Mr. Lincoln is being conducted,” an Alexandria Police Department spokesperson told Gay City News. “All aspects of any criminality are being considered to include the possibility of hate crime involvement. So as to not jeopardize the integrity of the investigation, no information regarding any potential suspects or persons of interest will be released at this time.”

“Time and time again, we have seen Black people, LGBTQ people, and especially Black LGBTQ people violently killed for living their truth,” said Tori Cooper, HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. “The Human Rights Campaign is standing with Lincoln’s family and friends in mourning today, and joins advocates and the National Black Justice Coalition in demanding a thorough investigation in this case, and into why Lincoln’s family was not informed of their loved one’s death.”

In November 2019, ahead of Transgender Day of Remembrance, HRC Foundation released “A National Epidemic: Fatal Anti-Transgender Violence in America in 2019,” a heartbreaking report honoring the transgender and gender non-conforming people killed and detailing the contributing and motivating factors that lead to this tragic violence -- a toxic mix of transphobia, racism and misogyny. Sadly, 2019 saw at least 26 transgender or gender non-conforming people fatally shot or killed by other violent means. We say at least because too often these stories go unreported -- or misreported.

There are currently very few explicit federal legal protections for LGBTQ people. At the state level, LGBTQ people in Louisiana are not explicitly protected in employment, housing or in public spaces. Sexual orientation is covered under the state’s hate crimes legislation, but not gender identity. Nationally, despite some marginal gains in state and local policies that support and affirm LGBTQ people, recent years have been marked by anti-LGBTQ attacks at all levels of government.