Black Trans Woman Tiffany Banks, 25, Killed in Miami

Tiffany Banks
Tiffany Banks via Facebook

In early September, Tiffany Banks celebrated her 25th birthday. A resident of Miami-Dade, the Black trans woman was a graduate of Lowndes High School, had worked at Dairy Queen, and identified her transition as her priority. Since 2019, she worked at L A Beauty & Aesthetics at Banks Beauty Bar. According to her family, she loved to both dance and dance, describing her as “a very sociable and beautiful butterfly.”

On October 1, Tiffany was killed in her hometown. There is very little information on the circumstances of her death. Crimestoppers reports she was killed around 8:13 AM near N.W. 16th Avenue and N.W. 77th Terrace in the Liberty City section of Miami. On October 5, Miami-Dade Police arrested and charged a man with murder in the 2nd degree with a weapon. I believe that person is still in detention. But as with many cases where family and friends use deadnames and misgender the deceased, the facts are complicated to find. Tiffany’s family buried her under her deadname, but included the name Tiffany and current photo in her obituary.

I’m not parsing their choices, but pointing out that they have consequences for other trans and nonbinary neighbors. I wouldn’t put this on the family, but on the community groups and allies. If there are not media links to share, that’s another disturbing issue to explore.

One problem with keeping details so secretive is that we don’t know if this person harmed other members of the community or presents an undoing threat if they are released. Miami is a very big city so tracking down media accounts of her death is nigh impossible although I have reached out to media contacts in that area. Details are important for the safety of all trans folx. And justice for Tiffany.

And there’s a lot of reason to be worried – four that come to mind. Tiffany is the fourth Black trans person and the third Black trans woman to be murdered in Florida this year. Semaj Billingslea was killed on September 2 in Jacksonville. Duvall Princess, 24, was killed on January 2 also in Jacksonville. Nearly 350 miles away, Nedra Sequence Moss, 50, was killed in Opa-locka, Florida in May. During 2021, four trans women of color were murdered. This is a terrifying time to be in Florida for any LGBTQ person, but especially for our trans neighbors – what more evidence do we need about the impact of the devaluation, the erasure of their identities by a bigoted Governor? What more do we need to understand the toll of the terror campaign Governor DeSantis and his ilk are waging against the trans community?

Tiffany is the 33rd transgender person reported as a victim of fatal violence in 2022.  She is the 27th person of color from these neighbors respectively. She is the 20th Black trans women and the 26th woman of color from these neighbors respectively Her death means a trans neighbor has been murdered every 8.3 days in 2022 in the United States. To date the victims include 20 Black trans women, 3 Latinx trans women, 2 AAIPI trans women, 1 Native/Indigenous person, 2 white trans women, 1 Black trans man and 3 white trans men. The youngest was 17, the oldest was 50. Eleven were 25 or younger. Their deaths come on the heels of 2021, the most violent year in recorded history with the deaths of 57 trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people in the United States alone. Note that the tabulation includes a significant number of reports of folx murdered in 2021. This might be confusing. Of course it is confusing. I tried to sort it out below.

Rest in power, Tiffany. You deserved a long life filled with joy and beauty. Thank you for all that you brought to is world. I hope the people who love you find comfort in your shared experiences, while continuing to speak up for all trans Floridians. I am sorry we did not achieve that soon enough to protect you. You deserved so much more.

May your memory be a revolution.

This is our list of transgender, nonbinary, and gender nonconforming neighbors who have been victims of the campaign of terror in 2022. Please do not copy or share this list without attribution.  

As six additions to our 2021 list have been revealed in 2022, I am adding them in a separate list below to try and make any sense of this increasing horror. These folks deserve their lives and deaths to be honored and remembered. The complexity only underscores their realities.

  1. Amäriey Lèį (Myara) – Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. January 1, 2022. Age 20. 
  2. Duval Princess – Jacksonville, Florida. January 2, 2022. Age 24.
  3. Naomie Skinner – Detroit, Michigan, February 12, 2022. Age 25.
  4. Cypress Ramos – Lubbock, Texas, February 13, 2022. Age 21.
  5. Paloma Velasquez – Houston, Texas, February 26, 2022. Age 29.
  6. Matthew Spampinato – New Castle, Delaware, February 9, 2022. Age 21.
  7. Tatiana LaBelle – Chicago, Illinois, March 18, 2022. Age 33.
  8. Kathryn Newhouse – Canton, Georgia, March 19, 2022. Age 19.
  9. Kesha Webster – Jackson, Mississippi, March 26, 2022. Age 24.
  10. Miia Love Parker – Chester, Pennsylvania, April 1, 2022. Age 25.
  11. Ariyanna Mitchell – Hampton, Virginia, April 2, 2022. Age 17.
  12. Fern Feather – Morristown, Vermont, April 12, 2022. Age 29.
  13. Ray Muscat – Clarkston, Michigan, May 8, 2022. Age 24.
  14. Nedra Sequence Moss – Opa-locka, Florida, May 14, 2022. Age 50.
  15. Chanelika Y’Ella Dior Hemingway aka “Sid” – Albany, New York, May 31, 2022. Age 30.
  16. Sasha Mason – Zebulon, North Carolina, May 13, 2022. Age 45.
  17. Brazil Johnson – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 15, 2022. Age 28.
  18. Shawmayné Marie McClam – Gulfport, Mississippi, June 21, 2022. Age 27.
  19. Kitty Monroe – Memphis, Tennessee, June 29, 2022. Age unknown.
  20. Martasia Richmond – Chicago, Illinois, July 12, 2022, Age 30.
  21. Toi Davis – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 16, 2022. Age 34.
  22. Keshia Chanel Geter – Augusta, Georgia, July 20, 2022. Age 26.
  23. Cherry Bush – Sylmar, Los Angeles, California, July 6, 2022. Age 48.
  24. Hayden Davis – Detroit, Michigan, July 25, 2022. Age 28.
  25. Marisela Castro – Houston, Texas, July 29, 2022. Age 39.
  26. Dee Dee Kandii Redd – Kansas City, Missouri, July 24. Age 29.
  27. Maddie L. Hofmann – Malvern, Pennsylvania, May 19, 2022. Age 47.
  28. Jasper Aaron Lynch – McLean, Virginia, July 7, 2022. Age 26.
  29. Dede Ricks – Detroit, Michigan, August 27, 2022. Age 33.
  30. Regina Mya Allen – Milwaukee, Wisconsin, August 29, 2022. Age 35.
  31. Acey D. Morrison – Rapids City, South Dakota, August 21, 2022. Age 30.
  32. Semaj Billingslea – Jacksonville, Florida, September 21, 2022. Age 33.
  33. Tiffany Banks – Miami, Florida, October 1, 2022. Age 25.

These are deaths reported in 2022 and beyond.

Memorial for Trans folx