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Posted under: News

Bee Love Slater, 23-Year-Old Whose Body Was Burned Beyond Recognition, Is The 18th Trans Woman To Die In 2019

She is the second to die since Indya Moore wore their tribute earrings.

A Florida transgender woman's body was discovered in a burning car on September 4.

Bee Love Slater's body was found in Clewston, Florida, days before she turned 24 years old. Reports claimed she was bound together and shot, but the captain of Hendry County Sheriff's Office, Susan Harrelle, said "there's no evidence" because "the vehicle was set on fire and the body was burned beyond recognition."

According to Advocate, Slater is the 18th trans person to be killed in 2019 and the 17th Black trans woman. 

Desmond Vereen, Slater's friend, remembered her fondly.

"She was a people person," said Vereen. "She loved to be around people and meeting new people, too because of her new lifestyle that she transitioned into."

Vereen hosted a vigil for Slater on Friday night. He believes his friend was killed because she lived in her truth.

"I feel like she was targeted because of her lifestyle," Vereen said.

Kenard Wade, Slater's best friend, agrees. He spoke to her the night she died and Slater expressed concern about her safety, according to WINK. She wanted to leave town because she was scared of being attacked.

Antorris Williams, another friend, also believes the attack was premeditated.

"She posted messages saying she felt as if people were after her to attack and hurt her and she had a conversation with one of her best friends the day she was murdered saying she wanted to leave [the city]," he told Out. "She was willing to sleep in her car until she found a job and things of that nature."

Slater's friends want to ensure her gender is respected.

"One of the issues we're having is getting people to get her pronouns correct and honor her," Williams added. "But since we live in [the Bible Belt], we don't have protections for trans women. I know all of the mayors and commissioners, I've done some of their campaigns. There's isn't any programming or housing in place — they don't have access to medical care or any treatment so basically that's where we're at."

On Thursday, Pose star Indya Moore wore a pair of earrings featuring pictures of every trans woman who has died in 2019 to the Daily Front Row Fashion Media Awards.

View this post on Instagram

Thank you Aree, for sharing your keepsake earings so I could bring my sister's with me tonight. Just Like me these women dare to exhaust their freedom to exist by being visible, however, instead of being celebrated, they were punished for it. While we make up .6 percent of the American population, The life expectancy of trans women/femmes is 35 years old. Existence that requires bravery is not freedom. A life that requires bravery is not free. I accept this award in honor of the truth that The best award and the award we all deserve is to be able to get home safe. I accept this award in good faith that my recognition doesn't lead to the Erasure of other trans and GNC folks who also deserve health care, housing safety in visibility, magazine covers, runways, leading film and tv roles, doctorates degrees, high school diplomas, college educations and representation everywhere. Jewelry @kbhjewels Make up @aerieldandrea Hair @monaeartistry Style @iancogneato dress @oscardelarenta repost • @beadsbyaree The first “Keepsake” earring was created to honor my Iya (godmother) who passed this April. Not knowing what to do in the darkest times of my life, I held on to love. I was inspired by love and representation of it. In each frame I inserted images of my sisters who my Iya has raised. They carry her in their faces and are a reminder of her presence to me simply by being themselves. We’re all entangled. We may look like one person but we show up as many. @iancogneato contacted me with a mission for the earrings. He was prepping @indyamoore to receive the honor of Cover of the Year for ELLE at @dailyfrontrow. They wanted to pay tribute to and also build awareness for the 16 (now 17) trans women who were murdered this year in the USA. The issue is so pressing that after creating the earring and three days before the event, Bailey Reeves, a 17 year old girl from Baltimore was killed. For her, Indya carried a frame around with her face. @indyamoore’s jewelry served as an altar and their speech was both a prayer for the future and a call to action. In their hour of celebration they put their trans sisters in the forefront.

A post shared by IAM (@indyamoore) on

At the time, the known death toll was 16 women. Moore admitted they were concerned another trans woman would die after they wore the jewelry. Slater is the second woman to be found dead after Moore wore the earrings. The first was 17-year-old Bailey Reeves.

Moore urged cisgender people to care about every transgender person, whether they are famous or not.

"Trans people deserve safety, acknowledgment, and respect," Moore said. "Not just when we're on the cover of magazines, but when we are in the streets, when we are poor, when we are sex workers. When our hair ain't laid. When we can't afford Louis Vuitton, or when we can't get access to a hormone shot. And especially when we are dying."

Investigators have not determined whether the burning was the cause of death and or a motive.

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Ashleigh is a writer and podcaster based in Atlanta, GA. She isa social justice senshi, not a SJW. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @ashleighlakieva.