LGBTQ South Florida

Candlelight vigil held for transgender Miami woman found slain at home

A vigil against transgender violence will be held Thursday night for Miami-Dade County homicide victim Kristina Gomez Reinwald, AKA Kristina Grant Infiniti.
A vigil against transgender violence will be held Thursday night for Miami-Dade County homicide victim Kristina Gomez Reinwald, AKA Kristina Grant Infiniti. Via Facebook

A candlelight vigil was held Thursday night at the Torch of Friendship in downtown Miami to honor the life of Kristina Grant Infiniti, a 46-year-old transgender woman found slain inside her home on Sunday.

Infiniti, also known as Kristina Gomez Reinwald, died at 2045 S.W. 58 Ct., according to Miami-Dade Police.

A Facebook page has been set up to honor Infiniti. From the page:

“Too many lives have been lost. Too long have we gone without justice; without equal footing. Our South Florida transgender community, and its allies, are invited to join us this Thursday evening for a vigil. In addition to honoring Kristina Grant Infiniti's life, the vigil will also provide space to mourn the passing of other transgender people who have been lost in these ways. We will shine light on the plight of gender nonconforming people, especially transgender women of color -- many of whom, sadly, have suffered and ultimately lost their lives due to a lack of awareness, education, and equality in our community. Together we can demand justice. Together we can stand in solidarity. Together we can make a change.”

South Florida LGBT activists are shining a light on Infiniti’s slaying, which mirrors more than a half-dozen similar deaths nationwide.

“Kristina now unfortunately becomes the latest transwoman whose life was taken by a murderer who needs to be expeditiously brought to justice,” according to a news release from Unity Coalition, South Florida’s Hispanic LGBT-rights group.

Thursday afternoon, Unity Coalition President Herb Sosa posted on Facebook:

“THOUGHTS for tonight’s VIGIL: We must keep UNITED as an LGBT COMMUNITY, AND on message tonight – SUPPORT, HEALING and UPLIFITNG of the Trans community.

“We really DONT KNOW FACTUAL specifics or circumstances of Kristina’s death, beyond the official listing as a homicide... Conclusions of hate crime, domestic, burglary, etc. are PREMATURE and not helpful. We must let the [Miami-Dade] Police Dept do its job - FIRST.

“The LAST thing we need is a lot of accusations, conclusions and misdirected anger that will undermine our unified message, especially to the media or anyone in opposition that may be there.”

So far this year, more than a half-dozen transgender women of color have died by violence, according to Aryah Lester, founder and and executive of Trans-Miami, South Florida’s first transgender activist organization.

“It’s important for us to shine a light on how we portrayed as transgender women of color, and especially in the media,” Lester said. “We have the highest suicide rates, the highest rates of violence and one of highest rates of HIV infections. we’re very disproportionally affected when it comes to the negative aspects of life.”

Said Gina Duncan, Transgender Inclusion director for Equality Florida: “Kristina's death marks the seventh trans woman to be reported murdered in the U.S. in 2015, in what the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has called an ‘alarming, fatal epidemic of violence against transgender and gender-nonconforming women, specifically transgender women of color in the United States.’

“With the increased visibility of the transgender community, violence has increased alarmingly across our nation, especially targeted against gender-variant people of color,” Duncan said in a news release.

If you go

A candlelight vigil to honor Kristina Infiniti will be held 8 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday at the Torch of Friendship, 401 Biscayne Blvd., Miami.