Black Trans Woman Tiffany Banks Killed in Miami

Tiffany Banks
Tiffany Banks

Tiffany Banks, a 25-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed October 1 in Miami.

Details about her death have been slow to come out because local media reports deadnamed her, and little information has been released overall. A man has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder with a weapon, Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents reports.

A graduate of Lowndes High School, Banks had worked at a Dairy Queen and a cosmetics company. An online obit called her “a very sociable and beautiful butterfly” and “the light that would brighten up anyone’s darkest day.” The obit, which used her deadname and misgendered her but noted that she also went by the name Tiffany, said she loved to sing and dance.

“The absence of Tiffany is like the sky; it will spread all over all day and night,” Jasmine McKenzie, executive director of the McKenzie Project, a local trans activist group, told Equality Florida.

Banks is at least the 33rd trans, nonbinary, or gender-nonconforming person to die by violence in the U.S. this year, and the fourth in Florida. The majority of victims have been Black women.

A memorial vigil for Banks was held October 12 and a celebration of life October 15.

“Tiffany had so much more to give to the world and her death is an incredible loss,” Tori Cooper, the Human Rights Campaign’s director of community engagement for its Transgender Justice Initiative, said in a press release. “It is clear how deeply she was loved by her community and we will continue to grieve alongside them. Transgender people deserve to live our lives without fear of violence. The lack of available details and underreporting of Tiffany’s death is troubling, and we will continue to fight for justice for Tiffany.”

“Rest in power, Tiffany,” Sue Kerr wrote at Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents. “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.”