Melissa Nuñez, slain trans activist, remembered in Queens

The late Melissa Núñez's picture on display at a vigil last month.
The late Melissa Núñez’s picture on display at a vigil last month.
Adrian Childress

Advocates gathered in Queens last month to remember the life of Melissa Nuñez, a trans activist who was killed in Honduras on October 18 after she was deported from the United States.

Nuñez previously lived in Miami and amassed tens of thousands of followers on TikTok, where she was an activist for LGBTQ and intersex rights, according to the Washington Blade. The Blade was in touch with Indrya Mendoza of Cattrachas, a lesbian feminist network in Honduras.

Nuñez left the United States in December of last year to return to Honduras, according to Mendoza, but was deported back to Honduras after she tried to return to America. Upon her return to Honduras, Nuñez was killed when “hooded subjects” shot her in the head, according to the news outlet Reportar sin Miedo.

The vigil, which took place at Corona Plaza in Queens on October 20, featured candles, pictures of Nuñez, and signs with messages such as “#JusticeforMelissa” and “No transwomen [are] safe in Central America.” Another sign said “#NotOneMore! Stop killing us!”

Make the Road New York, which worked to spread the word about the vigil, said Nuñez “fought for trans communities to be able to walk in public without being harassed by the police, to decriminalize sex work, [and] to create more protections for all immigrant communities.”

“Let us transform this anger… into action so that the incarceration and deportation of our trans sisters ends now,” the group wrote.

Vigil for Melissa Núñez in Queens.
The community pays tribute to Melissa Núñez.Adrian Childress
The vigil featured members of the non-profit Colectivo Intercultural Transgrediendo.Adrian Childress
Vigil for Melissa Núñez in Queens.
Trans Flags and candles surround pictures of Melissa Núñez.Adrian Childress
Activists send an urgent message after Melissa Nuñez’s death.Adrian Childress