The Silver Lining Foundation yesterday extended its deepest condolences to the loved ones of Sasha Fierce.
Fierce, or Keon Allister Patterson, was a transgender woman who was shot and killed at Nelson Mandela Park, St Clair, on Tuesday night. Her body was found in a pile of rubbish at the park. Up to Friday, two men were arrested without being charged, and a gun was seized. The gun was sent for ballistic testing.
In a Facebook post, the foundation said Fierce was not a “cross dresser,” not “a man in woman’s clothing,” not a “transgender man,” and not a “bullerman” as indicated in various traditional and social media articles, posts, and comments.
“She was a transgender woman, the 2nd runner up at the recent Queen of Queens pageant, an advocate for transgender rights, and an HIV activist. She was a loyal friend, ally, sister and surrogate mother to many, and she was the star of the Friends For Life “Not a Straight Ting” video series. As we mourn her tragic death, we asked that you do not erase her identity and #SayHerName.”
Kennedy Maraj, chief administrative officer of The Silver Lining Foundation, said members did not want to see her death treated with the level of disrespect they saw on traditional and social media.
“We felt our country was not evolved or progressive enough to actually say the name she wanted to be identified with. Most of the media reports and social media comments produced the stereotypical nonsense we have been dealing with for the past umpteen years.”
He said he understood there was a lot of misinformation and lack of education on the issue but it was disrespectful to the victim’s family and the LGBTIQ community who were still fighting for their rights as human beings. “We already have enough that we are facing as a community and to have that type of language being used in an incident like this just further exacerbates the level of homophobia and discrimination that normally persists within the community.”
On Friday, Club Alternate in St Augustine hosted a memorial for Fierce. On its Facebook post, Fierce was described as a lovely, regular patron, dancer, and all-around sweetheart.