Alexus Braxton, Black trans woman and ‘beloved daughter’, found dead as transphobic violence spills into 2021

Alexus Braxton

Alexus ‘Kimmy Icon’ Braxton, a Black trans woman and “beloved daughter”, was found dead 4 February amid a surge of unrelenting violence that has left LGBT+ activists drained and alarmed.

Braxton, 45, was killed in Miami, Florida, in an apartment complex in the northern Andover Lakes Estates neighbourhood. She was based in the Aventura suburbs, according to her social media profiles.

The Miami-Dade Police Department confirmed to Gay City News that authorities are treating the case as a homicide but declined to provide specifics on the incident. Doing so could “jeopardise the case”, detectives said.

In just 35 days, at least six trans or gender non-conforming people were killed in the US, according to LGBT+ monitoring groups.

Lacking a centralised database and with both the press and police commonly misgendering and deadnaming victims, records on trans homicides remain spotty. Confounding activists who have sought to stress that the already startling figures are likely even higher than they appear as a result.

What happened to Alexus Braxton?

Police discovered Braxton’s body at the California Club Condominiums on 915 North East 199 Street at 10:31pm, detective Colome told the news outlet.

“We’re not discarding the possibility that it can potentially go that route as an additional charge,” Colome said.

“But as of right now we’re definitely needing the assistance of anyone who can give us any information.”

“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the tragic loss of Alexus ‘Kimmy Icon’ Braxton, the beloved daughter of a Board Member of The Hollywood LGBTQ Council,” the local LGBT+ advocacy group wrote in a touching Facebook tribute.

“Her life had so much value and meaning and action MUST be taken in our communities to show that Black Trans Lives Matter.”

The spate of killings, seemingly stoked further under the Trump presidency, has been branded by the Human Rights Campaign, a top LGBT+ advocacy group, the American Medical Association and US president Joe Biden as an “epidemic of violence”.

And even with Donald Trump unseated, the violence has continued to seep into 2021, sowing fear and prompting vigilance among trans Americans.

After 44 trans Americans were killed last year, which by rights groups’ estimates was the deadliest since records began, 2021 has seen at least six, and five of whom were people of colour.

Just a week before Braxton’s passing, Fifty Bandz, a 21-year-old Black trans woman, was murdered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on 28 January.