A’nee Johnson, who was also known as A’nee Roberson, was a 30-year-old Black transgender woman from Washington D.C. who was well loved by many friends. Tragically, on October 14, 2023, A’nee was killed during an assault when she was pushed into a roadway and hit by a car. The driver of the car, who was not involved in the assault, stayed at the scene. Homicide detectives are searching for the person who assaulted her and caused her death.
A’nee’s death is at least the 22nd violent killing of a transgender or gender non-conforming person in 2023. We say “at least” because too often these deaths go unreported — or misreported. A'nee is the 12th Black trans woman killed this year and the 2nd trans and gender non-conforming person killed in DC this year. Both people killed in DC have been Black trans women. Black trans women account for more than half (52.2%) of all victims recorded by HRC this year.
A friend remembered her on social media, saying, "I’m so proud of the life you lived and the impact you made on a lot of people … I got to watch you blossom into the beautiful flower you were… from a youngin always at my hip to the fun loving brave & courageous woman you knew you were… i’m so mad they did this to you & i wish was there to save you … Sleep in peace sis.”
Transgender and gender non-conforming people in Washington D.C. are explicitly protected from discrimination in employment, housing, education and public spaces. Washington D.C. does include sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected characteristic in its hate crimes law. Though we have recently seen some political gains that support and affirm transgender people, we have also faced unprecedented anti-LGBTQ+ attacks in the states. In June 2023, the Human Rights Campaign declared a National State of Emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans, as a result of the more than 550 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced into state houses that year, over 80 of which were signed into law—more than in any other year.
We must demand better from our elected officials and reject harmful anti-transgender legislation at the local, state and federal levels, while also considering every possible way to make ending this violence a reality. It is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, especially Black transgender women. The intersections of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia and homophobia conspire to deprive them of necessities to live and thrive, so we must all work together to cultivate acceptance, reject hate and end stigma for everyone in the trans and gender non-conforming community. In June 2023, the Human Rights Campaign declared a National State of Emergency for LGBTQ+ Americans, as a result of the more than 550 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced into state houses that year, over 80 of which were signed into law—more than in any other year.