A memorial last month to remember slain transgender woman Kiki Fantroy shined a light on the lack of resources in her Miami community.
Fantroy, 21, was shot on a street corner near her home in Southwest Miami Dade last month. A 17-year-old who’s currently behind bars, reportedly admitted to her murder.
“On Monday, August 5, the Miami-Dade Police Department, made an arrest in the […] homicide investigation,” said Lee Cowart, Detective for MDPD.
Members of the trans community gathered in August to remember Fantroy, and strategize on new ways to work together. The memorial was closed to the media.
“The event was well-attended,” said Tatiana Williams, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Transinclusive Group. “Kiki’s entire family was there. It was unfortunate that we had to get together under those circumstances. I spoke to a few things that happened in the trans community. We specifically need to find a way to leverage resources to be able to help underserved communities grow.”
Organizations that can provide many of those resources were also there including representatives and executive staff from Pridelines, Transinclusive Group, Arianna’s Center, the Unity Coalition, and others.
Among the topics discussed were how to get help to underserved areas in South Florida. Several levels of help and support for trans people are available in the Wilton Manors area and in and around Miami Beach. But Southwest Miami Dade is a different story.
“The area is lacking in trans resources,” said Williams.
That’s in part because of South Florida’s vast geography—and the different levels of acceptance, safety, and assistance in each. Let’s face it: Even in 2019, there are several areas in South Florida where it’s not safe to be a transgender woman—certainly not a transgender woman of color.
It’s challenging to bring resources into those areas whose residents move around quite a bit.
“The trans community doesn’t just sit in one place,” Williams said. “They're frequently moving. Some are involved in sex work. They're moving from Palm Beach to Homestead, and they're going back and forth. So we have to figure out how to come together and serve communities that need it.”
Williams pledges to visit those communities to find out what they need. She also promises to keep up the fight to help lawmakers understand that the murder of transgender women of color is also a gun control issue.
Fantroy’s death is a transgender issue. But it’s also a gun control issue, and Williams said there’s a disconnect with many lawmakers.
“Sadly in 2018 there were six trans or gender non-binary women murdered in Florida between Jacksonville and Orlando,” Williams said. “And some of our representatives have no knowledge of that what's going on in our community. I think people sympathize but, when you’re talking about black trans women being murdered, I don’t there’s a real connection with the people that can make a difference.”
Check out SFGN's related story.