42-year-old Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, Miss Trans America, was found stabbed to death in her Massachusetts home on Friday evening. According to MassLive.com, her death has been ruled a homicide, making her the first trans woman murdered in 2018. Her husband, Mark S. Steele-Knudslein, faces murder charges. The two wed last year after moving to North Adams.
Christa Leigh was the founder of the Miss Trans New England and Miss Trans America pageants. According to Monica Roberts at TransGriot, Christa was “active in the area trans community, was well-loved and know by many in the New England and national trans community.”
According to PinkNews, “approximately 325 trans people were killed in the 12 months ahead of Trans Day of Remembrance, which took place in November. 25 of those were murdered in the US. 2017 saw a total of 28 trans people fatally shot or killed by other violent means making it the most violent year on record for trans people yet.”
Rest in power Christa Leigh.