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Monday, February 25, 2008

LGBTQ: Is It Open Season

on the LGBTQ community, or something? Barely do we get done chronicling the sad death of Lawrence King of Oxnard than we find ourselves having to do the same for Simmie Williams, Jr.

And why is so little attention being paid to Simmie Williams' death? Is he too old? Too black? Too easily overlooked in "not so gay or gay-friendly" Florida?

Here's a picture of Simmie Williams, Jr., a 17-year-old openly gay Florida teenager who was shot and killed last Friday, February 23rd. He was wearing women's clothing at the time.

Unlike many of our prominent citizens who wear women's clothing (excepting, of course, women), Simmie was a young man from a loving, but not wealthy, family. Police suspect he may have worked as a prostitute, as he was found in an area frequented by transgender prostitutes.

The article reveals very little about Simmie except that he loved cooking, and was close to his mother, and had hoped to go to culinary school. His mother apparently knew he was gay but did not know that he wore women's clothing, or what he did when he went out in the evenings. Possibly, she didn't want to know. Which is not to blame her. It's easier to live with something of which your community disapproves if you don't really know about it.

Simmie was shot by two young men dressed in dark clothing, who might live in the neighbourhood where his body was found &mdash the 1000 block of Sistrunk Boulevard. The article about his murder in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel states, in part:
In January 2003, about a half mile from where Williams was shot, a transgender prostitute was killed in the 500 block of Northwest 21st Avenue.

Timothy Broadus, 21, who also went by "Cinnamon" and wore women's clothing and a blond wig, was shot several times by a driver he had approached, police said at the time.

The case remains unsolved.
Police appear to believe that Simmie Williams' murder was a hate crime. Apparently, his murderers exchanged some words with Simmie before they shot him. The police spokesperson refuses to say what they said.

If you know anything about Simmie's death, the police are asking that you contact Detective Mark Breen at 954-828-5708 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477).

La Casa de Los Gatos appeals to bloggers, especially LGBTQ bloggers and bloggers of colour, to keep Simmie Williams' murder in the public eye until those responsible for his death have been arrested. This case is not getting the attention it deserves, although the media continue to flog the Natalee Holloway case for every column inch they can.

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At 10:09 AM, Blogger Smirking Cat said...

It was glaring to me that his identity was reported as "a transgender prostitute." Not a "17-year-old young man". Like he's not a person first, with sexual orientaton part of that person.

At 11:03 AM, Blogger ThePoliticalCat said...

WHAT? That is so fucked up. This is somebody's son, somebody's brother, somebody's grandchild. Dammit, the dehumanization makes me ill.


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