June 27, 2017
Contact Monica Roberts BTWI Media Chair
Carmarion D. Anderson BTWI Founding Executive Director
855-255-8636 Ext 11
Black Transwomen, Inc. is saddened that we must comment on the death of another trans woman of color in Ava Le'Ray Barrin.
What saddens and infuriates us as an organization that seeks to represent and empower Black trans women is that Ava was just 17 years old and hadn't even had a chance to follow her dreams yet.
And as usual, the Atlanta and Athens, GA media outlets reporting on the story once again played into the infuriating pattern of disrespectfully misgendering a Black trans woman in death.
On Sunday June 25 Athens-Clarke County police responded to an 11:45 AM EDT call concerning an argument taking place in the Rivercrest Apartments on 1020 College Ave. When they arrived they found Barrin lying in the parking lot of the complex suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest.
She was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead at 12:45 PM EDT.
Ava has become not only the 14th trans woman murdered in the US in 2017, she unfortunately is now the youngest one killed this year. She is also the 12th African American trans person killed this year.
All 14 of the murdered US trans women are women of color, with two of them being Native American and Latina. What also is distressing to us is that eleven of the 14 people we have lost this year are under age 40.
21 year old Jalen Brown is in custody in the Athens Clark County Jail without bail, and has been charged with murder and aggravated assault in this case.
A candlelight memorial service was held for Barrin Monday night, and funeral arrangements are pending at this time. BTWI's Dee Dee Watters will be doing a Facebook Live moment of silence in Ava's honor starting at 9 PM CDT.
BTWI, our brother organization Black Transmen, Inc, the BTMI Atlanta Chapter, the Black Trans International Pageantry System, and Black Trans Advocacy joins your family and all who loved you in expressing our condolences for your far too soon death.
Rest in power and peace, Ava.
Black Transwomen, Inc is a national not for profit organization based in Dallas TX that is part of the Black Trans Advocacy Coalition, a social justice alliance of the Black Transmen Inc, Black Transwomen Inc & Black Trans International Pageantry System organizations. BTA is committed to the advancement of black and trans people and the liberation of all disenfranchised people by working collaboratively to help end race and gender inequalities