The Philadelphia LGBT community has more work on their hands as they must push for answers on another Black Trans person's murder. Currently the only lead the Philadelphia Police and District Attorney, Larry Krasner had of a suspect, could not stand due to "lack of evidence" writes Pgh Lesbian Correspondents.
According to reports, Mar'Quis Jackson was last seen alive celebrating his 33rd birthday on December 12th, 2022 but never returned home. Family have tried to gain knowledge of his whereabouts and it wasn’t until a body was discovered in a backyard 2 days later. Identified by a family friend it was indeed Jackson with blunt force trauma to the head and police officials confirmed MJ had been deceased at least 48 hours prior discovery.
With this case being treated as a homicide, the Philadelphia LGBT community has to push police officials and the D.A. to prioritize and find answers. We know, how could a body not be discovered and reported found in a backyard for 48 hours? Heartless as it is, somebody knows something.
Born and raised in the south, (North Carolina) MJ's mom relocated them to the Philly area where he lived life as a proud transman with support from his family and loved ones. A close friend Sharree describes Jackson as, "Someone you couldn't stay mad at." & "Full of life." Mar'Quis was someone who put in the work for his community supporting the William Way Center, The Free Ky Project, and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund amongst other organizations.
Mar'Quis's death is the fifth trans person from Pennsylvania reported and the second reported in Philly following Diamond Jackson-Mc Donald this year. Because all reports are not treated equally, an average estimate of at least 34 deaths of trans people have been tallied across various sources since TDOR (November 20th, 2022). Jackson is the 6th transman reported this year whose death resulted from violence, the 3rd reported Black transman reported in the local Philadelphia area and the 24th Black trans person accumulatively.
Co-Founder of BONDS (Brothers Obtaining and Navigating Dynamic Solidarity) E. Lee Dyer IV states, " We urge the city of Philadelphia to look seriously in the matter, often times the deaths of transgender individuals get little to no due diligence of investigation. Our deepest condolences to the love ones of Mar'Quis may he rest in power."
2022 isn't over and we are seeing such a height in violence against trans identified individuals. Our communities continue to see death after death without room to mourn those who we have lost. Transmen and transmasculine humans often times are not included in the conversation on various topics and death is included. This is something we all have equal opportunity to make sure transmasculine and transmen lives are respected and acknowledged just as the rest of our siblings and community colleagues.
Rest in Power Mar'Quis "MJ" Jackson, you didn't deserve to leave here so soon, our deepest condolences go out to your loved ones and community...
Keep your foot on their necks to find answers.