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Crime

Black trans woman Kita Bee killed in hit-and-run in Kansas City

Kita Bee Trans Woman Killed Hit and Run
Human Rights Campaign

She is being remembered as “very bold in her personality,” and her death has traumatized the local LGBTQ+ community.

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Kita Bee, a 46-year-old Black transgender woman, was killed in a hit-and-run accident May 3 in Kansas City, Mo.

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Bee was hit by two cars that night. One of the drivers has been identified, and charges are pending, police told The Kansas City Star.

“Some friends and family members have expressed concern online that Bee’s death was caused by foul play, or that someone pushed her into the road,” the Star reports.

Bee had endured periods of housing instability but still served as a mentor to other trans women in her community, according to local trans advocacy group KC Transformations.

“Kita Bee was among the first to start working on Troost Avenue and taught several of her fellow trans women how to stay safe and navigate survival and safety,” the group wrote on Instagram. “This was an everyday reality for many of our sisters long before safer options for job employment, and housing were available for trans women of color.”

The post quoted Bee’s sister Raynisha as saying, “Kita was very BOLD in her personality; her idol was Mary J. Blige, and she was an all-around entertainer. She loved to sing, dance, perform to make you happy, smile, or laugh.”

Bee had been seriously injured in another hit-and-run this year, Kris Wade, executive director of the Justice Project, which assists women who’ve experienced homelessness and violence, told the Star. She had recently found stable housing, Wade added.

“She had a very sweet soul,” Wade noted. “I’ve got millions of memories of her… She was in her full authentic persona all the time, and that takes guts when you’re a trans person. Especially a trans woman of color.”

“Every time a trans person is killed, it just echoes through the whole community, literally worldwide,” she continued. “It’s a huge trauma to the queer community.”

Bee is at least the 12th trans, nonbinary, or gender-nonconforming person to have died by violence in the U.S. this year. The total in any given year is likely an undercount, given that many are deadnamed or misgendered, or their deaths not reported at all. Initial reports from the Kansas City police misgendered Bee, but the department eventually corrected the information. Also in any given year, the majority of victims are women of color.

“Our trans communities of color continue to bear the brunt of anti-LGBTQ+ violence and policy,” Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the Human Rights Campaign’s Transgender Justice Initiative, said in a press release. “We repeatedly hear about tragic deaths of trans people, particularly Black and Brown trans women. We can’t undermine or disregard every way that the lives of members of our trans family are so violently taken. Like all trans people, Kita deserved to live a long and fulfilling life in safe and affirming environments. We need to address and combat all forms of violence against our community.”

Transformations is raising funds for Bee’s funeral services. She had expressed a wish to be cremated and have her ashes scattered in the ocean. The group is seeking donations through CashApp $SheroRay.

Anyone with information that may be helpful to police is asked to call (816) 474-TIPS.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.