Chyna LongAge 30
8 Oct 2023
Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA)
Chyna was shot. According to her aunt her family had been harassed for years over her trans identity, and her killing may have been a hate crime.
Chyna Long, a dance choreographer and Black transgender woman, was shot to death in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 8, her family confirmed this week. She was 30 years old.
Long was killed early Sunday morning around 7:45 a.m. in Milwaukee’s residential Melody Hill neighborhood, according to police statements obtained by local ABC affiliate WISN. No arrests had been made as of Friday.
“They left my baby there like trash,” Long’s aunt April Gipson said at a vigil held in her memory Thursday. Gipson told mourners that the entire family had been harassed by others for years over her trans identity, and that her killing may have been a hate crime. “We'd get it all the time. And we would just ignore it,” Gipson recalled.
Chyna’s father Jonathan Long told NBC affiliate TMJ4 that his child was many things, but chief among her passions was dance. “She is a choreographer,” he said. “Since 18 years old, kids came to the house, girls by droves, and she would teach them dancing.”
Subsequently Antonio Currin, 29, was arrested and charged with her murder after video footage captured his car speeding away from the scene.
Chyna, you should be here. Every time I speak your name, I feel like I’m not doing enough, that I never could. I want our Black trans sisters to live freely, to be revered for embracing transformation, for defying the stifling boxes of essentialism. We are grand possibility models, but we also deserve our humanity. We are not satellites floating isolated in some dark sky; we are tethered to those around us. We have loved ones, families, and friends.
You make me believe that we change these dynamics by giving honor to those we’ve lost, caring for those still here, and building in the service of those yet to come. I will carry your name on my tongue and your legacy on my shoulders. I will keep wondering who you could’ve been if the world had loved you the way you deserved.
-- Raquel Willis, The Risk It Takes to Bloom