Kiki Fantroy was 21 years old, living in Miami-Dade, a lifelong resident of Florida.
Around 4 AM on Wednesday, July 31, Kiki and some friends were returning home after attending a party. According to Planet Transgender, Kiki’s mother described the circumstances of her murder:
[T]hey were approached by a group of men seeking sex. Her mother tearfully said that Kiki was shot when she refused their advances.
Kiki was found by police with gunshot wounds in her upper torso. She was transported to a nearby hospital where she later died from her injuries.
The Miami Herald is reporting that police do not believe Kiki was targeted because of her gender identity in spite of the claims of her mother, Rhonda Comer. Please be aware that Ms. Comer and some media reports are using both male and female pronouns to describe Kiki.
Comer was skeptical about law enforcement claims that her daughter was not targeted because of her gender identity.
“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 Comer. “And my understanding, you know, my understanding was she was killed because of her desire to be a woman.”
I’m trying to remember the last time a major media outlet like the Herald sat down with a victim’s family and shared such personal reflections in the days after the murder of any trans woman. I can’t think of a single time, but I do recall many times this happens when cisgender heterosexual victims are involved. Is that progress of a sort? Is it comforting to read Kiki’s identity being validated? Does it help to have a chance to see Kiki through the eyes of people who loved her and clearly miss her dearly?
Comer said Fantroy loved photography, “slaying” her hair and listening to music. She said her daughter decided to make the change more than a decade ago, while she was in school and before she even became a teenager. She said it was no secret to anyone who knew Fantroy, even remotely. The early days, though, were tough on her daughter, who was often bullied, Comer said.
“Kiki had a heart of gold. [S}he was a very loving person, would do anything for [her] friends. [Kiki] had to deal with being bullied a lot” until recently, Comer said. “[S]he started taking a stand for [her]self. [S}he went through being beaten up, being talked down. [S]he was the average teenager, the average 21-year-old. At that point they want to have fun. They want to be accepted. And that’s what [s]he was.”
Kiki’s ultimate goal, according to her mother: To be the second coming of RuPaul, perhaps the most famous drag queen in America.
Police continue to investigate while Kiki’s family prepares to bury her.
Rest in power, Kiki. You deserved so many more seasons to pursue your RuPaul dreams and every chance to grow into the woman you were born to be.
My list of transgender neighbors lost during the calendar year 2019.
- Dana Martin – Montgomery, Alabama. January 6, 2019. Age: 31.
- Ashanti Carmon – Fairmount Heights, Maryland. March 30, 2019. Age: 27
- Claire Legato – Cleveland. May 14, 2019. Age: 21
- Muhlaysia Booker – Dallas. May 18, 2019. Age 23.
- Michelle Simone Tameka Washington – Philadelphia, May 19, 2019. Age 40.
- Paris Cameron – Detroit, May 25, 2019. Age 20.
- Chynal Lindsey – Dallas, June 1, 2019. Age 26.
- Chanel Scurlock – Lumberton, North Carolina, June 5, 2029. Age 23.
- Jazzaline Ware – Memphis, Tennessee, March 2019. Age 34. **
- Zoe Spears – Fairmount Heights, Maryland. June 14, 2019. Age 23
- Brooklyn Lindsey – Kansas City, June 25, 2019. Age 32
- Denali Berries Stuckey – Charleston, July 20, 2019. Age 29
- Kiki Fantroy – Miami, July 31, 2019. Age 21.
** Jazzaline Ware’s body was discovered in her apartment in Memphis, Tennessee in March. Cause of death was originally death by suicide, but according to The Advocate, authorities are now investigating her death as a homicide.