Philadelphia’s Black LGBT+ community has remembered murdered trans woman Dominique ‘Rem’mie’ Fells with flowers, candles and a vigil.
Fells, a Black trans woman whose dismembered body was found in a river in June, was 27 when she died.
The vigil, organised by Philadelphia’s Black LGBT+ community and held yesterday (July 31) in West Philly, saw a sea of people chant “Say her name” and lay candles and flowers next to a mural bearing her name.
Family members of Fells were also in attendance, with her uncle, Roland Williams, speaking on behalf of the family.
“The support is tremendous. It’s something that we couldn’t think of,” said Williams, who also shared memories of his niece.
He continued: “Rem’mie was just always having a good time and laughing. We have a lot of family get togethers, she loved being around her cousins, uncles and aunts. She likes to eat and have a good time.”
“She was great at sewing, great at taking old clothes and making them into something fashionable for her. The sky was unlimited for her. Unfortunately, it was cut short,” said Williams.
Members of Philadelphia’s trans community at the vigil demanded safety and equality, at a time when violence against the trans community – particularly against trans women, and especially Black trans women and trans women of colour – is surging.
Williams added: “They’re looking for equal rights just as we have as people. They want to be seen. They want to be heard and they should be seen and heard.”
Fox29 reports that the vigil was also a fundraiser to benefit three causes, which organisers said were chosen by Rem’mie’s mother. One is Morris Home, Philadelphia’s LGBT+ recovery house.
The community also organised a fundraiser to cover Fells’ funeral costs.
Dominique ‘Rem’mie’ Fells: Black trans woman’s body recovered from river in June.
Fell’s mutilated body was recovered from the Schuylkill river on June 9. Her corpse was stuffed into a suitcase with both legs severed, with stab wounds and evidence of trauma to the face and head.
Police investigating the case have now issued an arrest warrant for a murder suspect, Akhenaton Jones, after attending a home and discovering blood and a cutting tool believed to be connected to the case, according to NBC Philadelphia.
Jones, 36, is said to be an acquaintance of the victim, according to the outlet.
It is unclear if the case is being treated as a hate crime.
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