Goddess Diamond is the 14th transgender person killed this year

Rest in power, Goddess Diamond. Her chosen first name is not yet known, so the Advocate.com reports that Venus Selenite, a black trans feminine artist, coined the name Goddess for Diamond so that Goddess would not be referred to by her birth name in stories about her death.

On June 5, Goddess Diamond was found dead by "blunt force trauma" in a burning car in New Orleans. Her death was not reported until four days after she was found. She was just 20 years old, and worked at Wal-Mart.

George Melichar, a friend and co-worker, described Goddess as "very loved and...very kind" in a statement to the The New Orleans Advocate. As so often happens when a trans person is killed, this story in the New Orleans paper misgenders Goddess and uses her birth name, even though Melichar confirms that she identified as a woman and was in the process of transitioning.

The trans community experiences this invalidation of her identity as adding insult to injury, and contributing to an unacceptable and dangerous erasure of her authentically lived life. GLAAD has a resource for journalists called "Doubly Victimized" which details best practices for fairly and accurately reporting on trans people who've been victims of crime. We hope other friends who knew Goddess will come forward and share her chosen name with local media.

Goddess becomes the 14th known trans person killed in the United States since January 1, 2016. That's 14 violent deaths in 24 weeks. This follows 2015, the deadliest year in recorded history, in which 21 transgender people were murdered. These statistics do not include transgender people who were violently attacked, but did not die.

In the wake of the mass shooting in Orlando that targeted an LGBT nightclub where 49 people were killed and 53 injured, the murder of Goddess Diamond reminds us yet again of the ongoing slow motion mass murder of transgender people, particularly trans women of color. Sadly, fear of violence is a daily reality for transgender people - especially transgender women.

We see you, Goddess. We say your name.