Gay Florida Teen Gunned Down in Fort Lauderdale

Simmie Williams, Jr., a 17-year-old gay man, was shot and killed on Sistrunk Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale over the weekend and officials are trying to determine whether or not the attack was based on Williams’ sexual orientation:

Williams“Simmie Williams Jr., 17, was attacked on the 1000 block of Sistrunk Boulevard by two young men who wore dark clothing and might live in the neighborhood, police said. Williams, who was wearing a dress and was known in the area by his first name or as ‘Chris’ or ‘Beyonce,’ was shot about 12:45 a.m. Friday and soon afterward died at Broward General Medical Center, police said.It’s unclear what Williams was doing in the area, about four miles from his house, but police are investigating whether he was working as a prostitute, officials said. Williams’ mother said her son was openly gay, but she didn’t know what he did when he went out at night, and she didn’t know he wore women’s clothes. ‘I gave him $2 for the bus and he never came back,’ said Denise King, who lived with her son west of Fort Lauderdale. ‘He was a quiet person, kept to himself. He had a lot of friends. He wasn’t a troubled child. He was a happy person.’ At the same time, being black, gay and dressing in women’s clothing made Williams ‘a minority within a minority within a minority,’ said Grant Lynn Ford, dean of Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale, a church that ministers to gays, lesbians and their families.”

There were apparently words exchanged before the shooting, and any hate crime charge will likely be based on that. More on this as details become available…

Gay teen shot dead while dressed as woman in Fort Lauderdale [sun sentinel]
Teenage boy dressed as woman shot dead [miami herald]


  1. Derrick from Philly says

    I can’t figure out how young gay people (or straight ones for that matter) find ways to enjoy themselves nowadays. The streets are so dangerous. Only seventeen years old.

  2. rudy says

    Hermes/Cloud, Another assassination of a gay youth to factor into your objective statistics. I suppose, in light of your previous comments, that this is but a datum reinforcing your position that violence against gay youth is statistically small.

    May you find peace Simmie; may your attackers be appropriately punished.

  3. tjc says

    Oh, this kid was black? Wearing a dress at the time? And _might_ have been a prostitute? Probably got what he deserved.

    No. No, he didn’t.

    Christ, I can’t wait to see how the media buries this compared to all the other (way, _way_, WAY too many other) GLBT kids who get killed. And the ones who only get beat up, not killed.

    If the coverage of this story (not here, but in the mainstream press) is even a quarter of the recent coverage for dead gay kids, it’ll be a miracle.

    No one deserves to get killed for who they are. No GLBT person deserves to be harmed for being GLBT.

    You know, I wonder if anyone’s done a comparison chart of the violent deaths of GLBT youth (say, < 30 yo) from 1990 to today, compared with AIDS deaths of gay and bi men from 1980-2000.

    While the actual numbers might not be interesting, I stronly suspect there’s a trend there that’s going unwitnessed. Although perhaps some of the largers urban areas are working on it, I’m sure rural places are not.

    Damn, sorry guys, but this senseless wasting of young lives is starting to really piss me off.

  4. says

    Its a horrible thing but unfortunatly its nt anything new. Weather the truth be that he was an innocent transgendered teen or a transgendered prostitute who was victimized. The full story in The Sun Sentinel goes on to say

    “The corner where Williams was found is a popular hang-out for transgender prostitutes, police and residents said.

    Sharia Ranson said she has noticed them from her home in the Oak Park apartments at Sistrunk Boulevard and Northwest 10th Avenue, where she has lived for two years.

    Wearing dresses and makeup, they often stood in groups of three to five, Ranson said.

    However, they are usually older than Williams, police said.

    “Most of the time you see adults,” said Detective Brice Brittenum, Fort Lauderdale police liaison to the gay and lesbian community.

    In January 2003, about a half mile from where Williams was shot, a transgender prostitute was killed in the 500 block of Northwest 21st Avenue.

    Timothy Broadus, 21, who also went by “Cinnamon” and wore women’s clothing and a blond wig, was shot several times by a driver he had approached, police said at the time.”

    No one deserves it and unfortunatly it is more commonplace than people think or know

  5. mikey says

    Don’t worry, TJC, it’s pissing me off, too. I am at the point where I say: let’s meet violence with violence. Let’s confront the assholes at every step.

  6. FizziekruntNT says

    Sad. What a shitty life that poor kid was having to live to begin with and a mother that played dumb or was simply unavailable…

    Sidenote: Trantasia has been playing on a few satellite channels for a week or so now. Good perspective in a few places on what goes on with a lot of these girls.

    And does anyone know why Jahna Steele died??? I got to see her perform once in the Rose Room in Dallas and she was amazing.

  7. says

    Gay American Heroes Foundation will be holding a candle light vigil, at its national preview event with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force this Friday in Miami for both Lawrence King and Simmie Williams, Friday February 29. Please come and spread the word. It is during the Winter Party Festival in South Beach.

    The event will take place after the “famous” run way show on Lincoln Blvd. at the Botanical Gardens, a 2 block walk from Lincoln Road. Time 8:00-10:00 pm with the program starting at 8:45 and running until 9:30 pm. Speakers include the family of Ryan Keith Skipper, who was murdered in a GLBT hate crime in 2007, Billy Bean, Founder Scott Hall, Matt Foreman, ED of The Task Force, Marilyn Volker, Carole Benowitz, BOD of PFLAG and Gay American Heroes Foundation and yours truly.

    We will report on 8 LGBT hate crime murders since January 1, 2008, that we know off, and preview the national traveling memorial.

    Please see for all information.


    Chip Arndt

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