Andrea Doria Dos Passos Source: Equity Florida

Andrea Doria Dos Passos Killing Underscores Need for LGBTQ Shelter, Advocates Say

Emell Adolphus READ TIME: 2 MIN.

The tragic killing of 37-year-old transgender woman Andrea Doria Dos Passos has underscored a grave need for LGBTQ shelter spaces, advocates have commented.

Passos was killed outside of the Miami City Ballet in Miami on April 23, according to the Miami Herald, and was experiencing chronic homelessness at the time of her death, according to her family.

In a statement released by the Human Rights Campaign, the organization marked Passos' death as the "at least" ninth violent killing of a transgender or gender expansive person this year. "We say 'at least' because too often these deaths go unreported – or misreported," the organization explained.

The Miami Herald reports that Passos was sleeping near the entrance of the Miami City Ballet Building when she was approached by a man who then violently beat her to death. Her body was found the next day, and authorities reportedly apprehended the perpetrator shortly after. Her was charged with first-degree murder and denied bond at his initial hearing, Miami Herald reports.

According to the Miami Police Department, "there is no evidence to suggest that Andrea was targeted because of her sexuality or gender." However, local advocacy groups have called for a thorough investigation into Passos' attack, have called for the perpetrator to be charged with a hate crime, and have condemned the growing anti-LGBTQ rhetoric stoked by Florida Republicans.

"The constant barrage of attacks and hate towards the Trans community coming throughout the Republican Florida government has emboldened those who want to cause them harm," wrote Flamingo Democrats, Miami Dade County's LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, in a statement. "This week, we have seen its horrible effect again in Miami Beach, in a clear example of a hate crime toward a member of the LGBTQ+ community."

Passos' stepfather told CBS News Miami that he feels "the system let her down."

"She was a good person," he said. "She has been struggling with mental health issues for a long time, going back to when she was in her early 20s. We did everything we could to help her. My wife is devasted. For her, this is like a nightmare that turned into reality."

Tori Cooper, Human Rights Campaign director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative added, "Not only should she not have been murdered, she shouldn't have been unhoused in the first place."

According to HRC, Passos is "at least the 33rd transgender person killed in Florida" since the organization began tracking fatal violence in 2013, and the second transgender person killed in Florida in the last month after the death of Tee "Lagend Billions" Arnold.

by Emell Adolphus

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