We at MTPC are mourning the loss of community advocate, activist and friend, Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien. Christa was a wonderful person, who had a profound impact on the trans and gender nonconforming community, particularly in Western Massachusetts. She was the creator and founder of the Miss Trans New England Pageant, and would go on to found Miss Trans America. She was a well known and positive influence for many trans people locally and nationally.
At this time, her death has been ruled a homicide, underscoring the continued prevalence of violence against trans and gender nonconforming people, particularly trans women. Additionally, domestic violence and partner abuse may have been a factor in her murder; factors which disproportionately impact trans people across the country. Christa’s death is a sad reminder how much violence and abuse transgender people face every day.
The Mass Trans Political Coalition would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Christa’s friends and family. We are working to assist in planning a community gathering and memorial in her memory. We will follow up when more information and details are available.
If you, or someone you know is struggling with depression, violence, discrimination, or partner abuse, please reach out to local or community resources. Groups such as The Network La Red (tnlr.org), Samaratins (https://samaritanshope.org/), Safe Passage (http://safepass.org/) and others, are available to provide assistance and resources.