A black transgender woman was killed last week in Miami in what her mother believes was a hate crime. She is at least the 13th transgender person killed in the United States this year, all of them black women.
Kiki Fantroy was 21 last week when she was shot several times near an abandoned home before sunrise, according to Miami-Dade Police Detective Lee Cowart. Emergency personnel found her and transported her to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Cowart said that the murderer was not found at the scene of the crime when police showed up. They investigated for two days before putting up signs in the neighborhood offering a $3000 reward for information leading to an arrest. The posters misgendered and deadnamed her.
“Detectives have determined there were a number of witnesses and we’re asking the community to come forward,” Cowart said.
He said that investigators are “making progress” on the case and they don’t believe that Fantroy’s gender identity played a part in the motive, that the murder was instead a result of a personal dispute. But the victim’s mother isn’t buying it.
“This feeling is indescribable. The pain. The void. You know that feeling after losing a child and you losing a child for no apparent reason. Because she’s gay,” said Rhonda Comer, the mother. “And my understanding, you know, my understanding was she was killed because of her desire to be a woman.”
Comer said that Fantroy “had a heart of gold” and “was a very loving person, would do anything for [her] friends.”
She told the Miami Herald that her daughter started transitioning a decade ago, was bullied in the neighborhood, and had been beaten up before. Comer said that her daughter loved photography and “slaying” her hair.
“That was her dream, RuPaul,” she said. “She wanted to be another RuPaul. She used to say one day she was going to California.”
“Whatever [she] was, [she] didn’t deserve to die,” said Comer. “In this world you got people that will love you, you got people that dislike you. And that’s just life.”
“I think [her] love over-ruled. [She] didn’t deserve to die. [She] didn’t deserve to be shot.”