Where Are The Graphics?

Home | Resources | Calendar | Receive Announcements | Submit a Resource | Advertise on this Site!
Today is Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Transgender Teens Killed On D.C. Street

[WASHINGTON, DC] - Two transgender teenagers, best friends who were biologically male but dressed and lived as women, were shot and killed early yesterday in Southeast Washington -- a crime that police said was unusually violent and has left them with few leads.

Deon Davis, 18, and Wilbur Thomas, 19, were found in the front seat of Thomas's Toyota Camry about 3:25 a.m. at 50th and C streets SE. Police said that each body had at least 10 bullet wounds and that both victims died at the scene.

Sgt. Brett Parson, who heads the D.C. police gay and lesbian liaison unit, said a witness reported seeing a man shooting into the Camry and then driving off in a large car, possibly a Ford Crown Victoria.

Parson said police are not sure what sparked the shooting. "With the number of rounds fired, it seems like it was personal," he said, not a confrontation between strangers as might occur in a robbery. Police are investigating several possibilities, he said, including that the deaths area hate crime.

The scene of the shooting, at a corner with vacant apartment complexes on two sides, was less than a block from Thomas's apartment on C Street SE, family members said. His mother, Queen Washington, said she believes that Thomas and Davis were returning from a gas station at East Capitol Street and Benning Road when they were shot.

Family members and friends said Thomas and Davis had met in their mid-teens through a social service agency that helps transgender youth and had grown close as they gave up their male identities and began dressing all the time as women.

The process was difficult, family members said. When Davis and Thomas were younger and still dressed as boys, they were often beaten up or harassed by people in the neighborhood who suspected they were gay.

"People would jump him every time he went to the store," said Katherine Parker, Davis's godmother, who raised him.

Later, there was a different problem. In public, Davis and Thomas were very convincing as women -- and were often accosted by men in the neighborhood.

Davis's sister, Rochelle Davis, 17, said her brother always warned these would-be suitors. "He'd say, 'Do you know I'm a boy?' " she said. "He made sure that he told them up front."

Rochelle Davis said she often warned her brother that someone might become violent when he found out Davis was a man.

"He said, 'Girl . . . ' [and] he started laughing like nothing was going to happen," she said.

Thomas's family, which includes two brothers and two sisters, was accepting of his lifestyle change. Wilbur Thomas went by the name of Stephanie. "We always kind of knew a little," his mother said.

But Parker, Davis's godmother, said she tried to stop him from dressing as awoman, a habit she believed he picked up from watching "The Ricki Lake Show."

"I told him. I said I didn't believe in that," Parker said. She told him to cut his hair: "I wanted him to be a boy."

But Davis said, "Mama, you can't tell a person how to live your life," Parker remembered. Davis insisted on his new life so staunchly that he destroyed all the photos of him as a teenage boy. Only pictures of him as a small boy remain.

Parker learned of Davis's death yesterday morning when transgender activists showed up at her door. Later, three transgender activists sat in her living room, referring to Davis as "she" while Parker usually said "he" or "my son."

"I raised him from a baby," she said. "He was my heart."

Related Links

Help ensure that Ukea and Stephanie are remembered as they were known to friends and supportive family members.

Contribute to the NTAC Bereavement Fund

Check out this House About Our News Feed | Get Our News Feed (XML)
Search Google
Search Google |