Transgender Day of Remembrance: Florida Lives Lost to Violence

Transgender Day of Remembrance
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Transgender Day of Remembrance and Visibility is a time to come together to pause, reflect, and honor the memory of transgender gender non-conforming lives taken due to transphobia and anti-trans violence.

Tragically, Florida is ground zero for the murders of transgender people in the country, particularly of black transgender women. Below we have listed the trans people murdered in Florida. We will continue to add names to this list and we are hopeful that fewer are added each year. Our goal for next year – ZERO.

The info below was collected through the HRC.

Please #SayTheirName

Transgender Lives Lost in Florida: 2022

Tiffany Banks’ family and friends remember her as a “sociable and beautiful butterfly.” When she came around, they say, there was “never a dull moment.” They say she loved to sing and dance.

Tiffany, a 25-year-old Black trans woman, was killed in Miami on October 1,2022. Her death is the fourth known killing of a Black transgender person in Florida.

Semaj Billingslea, a 33-year-old trans man, graduated from Florida Youth Academy before attending Florida State College at Jacksonville. He was a fan of Megan Thee Stallion and cared deeply about his friends. On September 21, Semaj was killed in Jacksonville, Florida.

Nedra Sequence Morris, a 50-year-old Black transgender woman, was “strong, feisty, opinionated” and loved talking to her many friends on the phone. On May 14, 2022, Morris was fatally shot in Opa-locka, Florida. More than 100 people held a vigil at an intersection where Morris’ body was found. A cousin spoke at the memorial, stating “We pray, that God speaks to us, we don’t go out with a vengeance, that we know justice will be served.”

Duval Princess, she/her/hers
Duval Princess was just beginning to live as her authentic self at the time of her death. She was a well-known hairstylist and active member of the LGBTQ+ community in Jacksonville, Florida, where she was killed. Family members, friends and clients remembered her on social media days after her passing, referring to her as being “so sweet and genuine.”

Transgender Lives Lost in Florida: 2021

Keri Washington, a 49-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed on May 1 in Clearwater, Florida. “Our community is yet again in mourning as a result of senseless acts of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people,” said Tori Cooper, HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative. “Keri was at least the fourth transgender woman killed in less than 10 days, each of them Black or Brown. We urge everyone to end the stigma against transgender people, and to destroy the roots of transphobia and racism that fuel this violence.”

Royal Poetical Starz, a 26-year-old Black trans woman, was fatally shot in Miami Gardens, Florida on Oct. 2, was a graduate of Florida Career College Vocational School. On social media, she was remembered as “the life of the party.”

Jenny De Leon was a 25-year-old Latina transgender woman who was found dead in Tampa, Florida, on Nov.2, 2021. De Leon attended PFLAG Tampa meetings and sought their help when she began transitioning. The organization wrote that “Jenny was an enigmatic, bright soul with enough energy to fill any room.”

Transgender Lives Lost in Florida: 2020

Tony McDade, a 38 year old Black transgender man, was fatally shot in Tallahassee on May 27. McDade was allegedly killed by police in an incident that was recorded on video. McDade used the nickname “Tony the Tiger” with friends. He was a Gemini. His loved ones mourned his death online, saying “You have such a big heart… Just your energy would lift my spirits.” Another friend said, “The bond that we all held from the #Feds2TheFree some people will never understand but when you tired, you tired. I can only thank God for letting us hear your voice one last time and you saying you love us.”

Bree Black, a 27 year old Black transgender woman, was fatally shot in Pompano Beach, Florida, on July 3. 

Yunieski Carey Harerra, 39, also known as Yuni Carey, was a 39-year-old Latina transgender woman who was killed in Miami, Florida on November 17 as the result of a stabbing. A suspect who identified as her husband confessed to the killing and has been taken into custody. Herrera was a model, performer, dancer and activist who was well-known and loved by the LGBTQ community in Miami. She was proud of her Cuban heritage. Herrera’s friend Raul Griffith as saying, “Besides being strikingly beautiful, she was kind and she was good and she cared as much about others as she would about herself. She was a very special person for many people.”

Transgender Lives Lost in Florida: 2019

Kiki Fantroy, 21, a black transgender woman, was found in Miami in the early hours of July 31 after being shot multiple times. She was taken to a nearby hospital where she died of her injuries. An arrest was made the following month. Kiki’s mother remembered her as having “a heart of gold” and being “a very loving person.” 

Bee Love Slater, 23, was a Black transgender woman found burned in a vehicle in Clewiston, Florida, on September 4. An arrest was made later that month. Bee Love is remembered by loved ones as someone “with a really, really sweet heart” who “never harmed anyone.” “Bee Love was loved by many family, friends and neighbors,” her funeral home wrote in a Facebook statement.

Transgender Lives Lost in Florida: 2018

Celine Walker, a 36-year-old Black transgender woman, was found fatally shot in a hotel room in Jacksonville’s Southpoint area on February 4. According to those who knew her, Celine had an understated personality and lived a “low key life.” Today, she is remembered for her courage to live as her authentic self, which friends describe as both “inspirational” and “encouraging.” 

Antash’a English, a 38-year-old Black transgender woman, was shot to death in Jacksonville, Florida on June 1. Antash’a was misgendered in initial police reports. Originally from Albany, Georgia, Antash’a took pride in being an independent woman, writing on her Facebook page that she “thrives on being the best person” she can be. Friend Taliyah Smith says she treasured her for being “unapologetic, bold and loyal.” Antash’a had won many titles in the transgender pageantry circuit. She was a popular performer for ten years at InCahoots Nightclub. 

Cathalina Christina James, a Black transgender woman, was fatally shot in Jacksonville, Florida on June 24. Cathalina was just 24 years old. According to her mother, Cathalina had a “big and bold personality.” Always the life of the party, she loved to dance and travel. “She always found a way to steal the show,” says her sister Deandra. Cathalina’s father knows that she touched the lives of many, as she “would do anything for anybody to help anybody out.” Originally from Sumter, South Carolina, Cathalina was in the process of moving to New York when she was killed.

Sasha Garden, a Black transgender woman, was found dead with signs of trauma in Orlando, Florida on July 19. Sasha was 27 years old. Originally from Wisconsin, Sasha is remembered by loved ones as a “firecracker” who “didn’t hold anything back.” Mulan, herself a local trans activist, recalls that Sasha was a talented and aspiring hair stylist and had been saving money to fund her transition. 

Londonn Moore was found shot to death in a remote area of North Port, Florida on the morning of September 8. Just 20 years old at the time of her death, Londonn is remembered by her family and other loved ones as “hilarious” and “such a sweetheart.” Known for her uncanny ability to make “everyone laugh all the time,” Londonn’s public social media presence reflects a playful young woman who followed several R&B, hip-hop and rap artists.

Transgender Lives Lost in Florida: 2017

On December 16, 2017, Rhiannon Layendecker, a 51-year-old transgender woman, was fatally shot in her home in Englewood, Florida by her wife, Jessica Winkler, after a domestic dispute. Rhiannon’s neighbors say she was a loving person who “would do anything for you.” Friends describe Rhiannon as a “kind, sweet and gentle person” and someone who “would help out anyone in need.” She was an animal lover, posting countless photos of rescue dogs and cats on her Facebook page in the months leading up to her death. 

Chay Reed, 28, a Black transgender woman, was shot and killed on April 21 in Miami, Florida. Reed was shot in the stomach while running across the street. Media coverage and police reports initially misidentified her gender. Reed was known for her dance moves and friends say she was sweet, hilarious and full of life.

Transgender Lives Lost in Florida: 2016

Mercedes Successful, 32, a Black transgender woman from Haines City, Florida, was shot and killed in a parking lot on May 15. She was a lively and fun-loving member of the local community. Local press reports initially misgendered her and used her birth name, despite the fact that she was a well-known performer, contestant and make up artist in area clubs and pageants. She represented her birthplace, Jamaica, in the 2014 Gay Caribbean USA Pageant.

Kristina Gomez Reinwald (AKA Kristina Grant Infiniti), 46, a Latina transgender woman from Miami, was fatally stabbed February 15. Reinwald was a wellknown transgender artist and performer in her community. Florida’s hate crime law does not protect individuals on the basis of gender identity. 

India Clark, 25, a black transgender woman from Tampa, Florida was fatally beaten and shot July 21. Her alleged assailant reportedly killed a gay man a week later and was arrested for both murders. Clark was studying to become a cosmetologist at the time of her death.

We must honor their lives with action.

Two actions you can take THIS week in support of transgender, enby, and gender non-conforming people:

  1. Participate in a Transgender Day of Remembrance and Visibility event in your area.
  2. On November 20, use the hashtag #SayHerName to stand in support of Black trans women and call for immediate action to end the killings. (We also encourage you to use the hashtags #BlackTransLivesMatter and #TDORV.)

**Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).

Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida and beyond, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.

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